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Industrial area could be home to medical pot grow operations | News

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Industrial area could be home to medical pot grow operations

LAS VEGAS -- Medical marijuana is coming to the Las Vegas valley and some neighborhood concerns are coming with it.

One of those is the smell of marijuana coming from production facilities near residential areas.

The city of North Las Vegas is offering incentives for the grow houses to open outside of town.

On Tuesday, 30 businesses were approved to open legal grow facilities in the 18,000 acre Apex Industrial Park, which is 25 miles from downtown Las Vegas.

They still need state approval but soon, the area could be the valley's new green zone.

For years, the Apex Industrial Park has been as barren as the desert surrounding it, not many businesses were willing to set up shop there. For North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, the open area is an opportunity.

“We decided that that would be the green zone that it would be the place that we would put this particular product," Mayor Lee said.

Lee says the valley needs places to grow medical marijuana, but many residential areas don't meet the requirements.

He says the industrial park out of town is the perfect place for several legal grow houses.

"People have mentioned sometimes there might be an odor. We felt this was the best place to start our build out for this industry," Lee said.

The city has received more than 30 applications for grow houses in part because the city has made it cheaper for growers to build there. Local lawmakers have relaxed the building requirements as an incentive.

"We will be in that zone, and providing quality medicine from A to Z," dispensary owner Michael Abrams said.

These businesses feel Apex is a good spot because no patients will ever need to go here. There will be no medical marijuana sales whatsoever just growing and production.

"The cultivation sites may be close together, but that's really null and void for the public. That is not something they need to concern themselves with because no public will ever be going to these facilities," Abrams said.

While there are a few dozen applications for Apex, it is still unclear how many will be approved. All these need to be okayed by the state and again by the city, before construction can start,

The state will give a "yes" or "no" on the applications by Nov. 3. Following that, North Las Vegas will need to grant each grow house application a business license.