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Twin Falls Residents Bristle At Potential Jackpot Marijuana Dispensary

Richard Vogel
A worker prepares to harvest a fresh crop of marijuana at the Loving Kindness Farms in Los Angeles.

A group of Republicans in Twin Falls is pushing back against a proposed ordinance that would open a recreational marijuana dispensary just across the border in Nevada.

Nevada’s newest dispensary could be in Jackpot after Elko County Commissioners voted to move ahead with the proposal last week, which still needs final approval.

But about 45 miles north in Twin Falls, some residents are trying to stop the ordinance from passing.

Gretchen Clelland, a local Republican official, wrote a letter with several others at the request of her uncle, Elko County Commissioner Demar Dahl, to halt the measure.

Clelland grew up in Elko County and said she understands that Jackpot is in a tough economic spot marked by falling casino revenue.

“I have been through Jackpot thousands of times and I can appreciate their plight, their wanting to stay afloat, but I just don’t think this is the way to do it,” she said.

She thinks most of the dispensary’s customers would come from Idaho, where any amount of the drug is strictly illegal, leaving Twin Falls to deal with any potential negative fallout.

Nevada voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 – 16 years after they also signed off on a ballot measure to allow the sale of medicinal marijuana.

Elko County has been hesitant about allowing a dispensary to set up shop in the unincorporated areas in northeast Nevada it controls, though those views seemed to soften last week.

Commissioners have yet to set a date for a public hearing for the proposed ordinance.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!