Market Overview

Campaign Cash Floods In From Marijuana License Hopefuls


Medical marijuana business requires license to grow, process and dispense the medication. Medical cannabis is a highly profitable business on the rise in United States as more and more states are beginning to legalize it for medicinal reasons. Not everyone can get the licenses. There were three commissioners among the seven member Clark county commission who reviewed applications from eager investors or companies. Donations worth more than $30000 were received by the three commissioners handling the application review task. 

There were 81 applicants who were eager to get a license to start their medical marijuana business. Among the donations, there were about 22 who came from investors belonging to same company called CW Nevada. 


As a result of this, the three commissioners Giunchigliani, Scow and Brager are required to disclose the campaign contributions. The process also revealed that there were about 12 law firms who also have contributed to the commissioners. When Scow and Brager came to know that an applicant named Sweet Goldy, LLC, also donated $1000 in donations to each, they returned it back because they did not want to accept any donations from applicants themselves. 

The commissioners have said that they did not know about investors from applicant companies were donating to them, otherwise they would have rejected the donations. Scow declines on giving back any contributions to the donors, while Giunchigliani asked investors to wait until selection procedure was done. If the selection process does not yield results in favor of investors, then they would be the one complaining about it everywhere. 

There is fierce competition among marijuana businesses because a lot of ventures have seen the revenue potential considering marijuana’s demand in the country. Unfortunately, not every would get the permit to operate the business. The entire medical marijuana business has the potential to reach millions of dollars within a few months’ time.

Donations received from investors linked with applicant businesses seem like an attempt to deviate the commissioner’s decision in favor of the venture. Even if it appears to be so, Giunchigliani has said that the donations did not affect the decision making process. There were also political investors and donors in the list who have contributed in the range of $50 to $5000. 

Nevada is a state where medicinal marijuana was legal since the year 2000, but it was not a huge business back then. The only possible way to have the drug was to grow it yourself which is not possible for everyone. Commercialization of medicinal cannabis has opened up possibilities for new ventures and may also boost the trade. Up to 40 businesses can operate in Clark County according to the state law passed in 2013, but only 18 dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county. 

The main question arises on the need for separate medicinal marijuana dispensaries when they could simply grant licenses to existing pharmacies to sell the drug. The general public of the county has expressed their concern through internet forums, asking whether the licenses granted would be a result of purely unbiased decision or if the commissioner’s decisions would get affected by the donation amounts. 

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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