Las Vegas Uses Money From Cannabis Taxes To Fight Homelessness

Las Vegas Uses Money From Cannabis Taxes To Fight Homelessness

Commissioners in Clark County, Nevada have now passed a resolution allocating nearly $1.8 million collected from local cannabis taxes to help regrow programs specializing in providing assistance to the homeless.

A little more than $930,000 of the money from cannabis taxes is going to be supplied to HELP of Southern Nevada’s rehousing services “for medically fragile, non-chronically homeless households after leaving local hospitals.” A little more than $855,000 will be awarded to HELP “to help the program costs” associated with a homeless youth center.

Related: Las Vegas Cannabis Lounges May Be Opening Soon

Nevada legalized recreational marijuana use in the 2016 election, one of four states to pass such measures during that cycle. Recreational dispensaries opened for business in Nevada in the summer of 2017, allowing adults to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana flower, as well as an eighth of marijuana concentrates.

Before this year, commissioners in Clark County hit pause on efforts to open cannabis lounges in Las Vegas, opting at the time to defer to state lawmakers. But the Las Vegas City Council voted earlier this month to permit dispensaries to apply for licenses to open such establishments, where customers are free to use marijuana products.

Back in December, Clark County commissioners placed a moratorium on recreational dispensary permits, stating that medical patients were snubbed by the industry. However, by the end of 2018, the county had already collected millions of dollars in licensing fees for dispensaries where customers can buy cannabis products.

The end of prohibition has city leaders dreaming about Las Vegas becoming a true mecca for weed tourism; it’s also been regarded as a potentially huge revenue source to relieve a number of the community’s problems.

To that end, the attempt to use funds to support homeless programs began in January, when the Clark County commissioners accepted earmarking the feeds to support the tens of thousands of displaced people in the region. The amount of money directed from the cannabis taxes was capped at $12 million annually.

After the commissioners took up the measure in January, there was debate over where to spend these funds, with some lawmakers favoring a plan that simplifies home. Others advocated a more flexible approach that could avail funds for other providers, such as monetary assistance.

In 2016, the vast majority of respondents in Nevada (54%) approved Question 2, also referred to as the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative, which legalized the drug for people aged 21 and above. California, Massachusetts and Maine passed similar measures that same year.

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