In order to be approved for a marijuana establishment license, there are various regulatory requirements that must be met, one of which is a distance setback requirement. This means that when applying for a license, the physical address of any proposed marijuana establishment must be a specific distance away from certain establishments as proscribed by law.

Assembly Bill 533, which passed on June 12, 2019, is a comprehensive omnibus bill that established a series of changes to current marijuana laws, one of which is the establishment of new distance setbacks for marijuana establishments. Whereas previously, distance setbacks existed for marijuana establishments where they could not be within a certain distance from schools or community facilities, the law was modified to now include unrestricted gaming locations.

The distance setback requirement is measured from the front door of the proposed marijuana establishment to the closest point of the property line of the school, community facility, or gaming establishment that holds a nonrestricted gaming license.

Effective on November 23, 2019, new marijuana establishments, which can be either medical or recreational retail stores, cultivation facilities, production facilities, distributors, or independent testing laboratories, must be 1,000 feet away from a public or private school, 300 feet away from a community facility and 1,500 feet away from an establishment that holds a nonrestricted gaming license.

A community facility has been defined as a facility that provides daycare to children, a playground, public park, swimming pool, church or another place of worship or any center or facility whose primary purpose is to provide recreational opportunities to children. Additionally, according to NRS 463.0177, a nonrestricted gaming license is a state gaming license that is issued to an establishment that has 16 or more slot machines, a race or sportsbooks, a mobile gaming system.

The schools, community facilities, and nonrestricted gaming establishments have to have already existed at the time in which the application for the proposed marijuana establishment was submitted to the Department of Taxation. For example, if a community facility were to later open up within the proscribed distance setbacks to an already existing marijuana establishment, the distance setback requirement does not have to be met. Additionally, until this law is effective, already existing marijuana establishments that do not have to meet the distance setback requirements to the nonrestricted gaming license establishments. These marijuana establishments would be considered as “grandfathered” in, meaning that they are exempt from the new rule and do not have to comply with this new requirement. However, any new marijuana establishments from November 23, 2019, and moving forward are required to meet this new distance setback requirement.

Author: Salma Granich