Correction: Medical Marijuana-Nevada story

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — In a story Dec. 29, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the state would miss an April 1 deadline to begin accepting applications from medical marijuana providers and growers. The deadline imposed by the Legislature is for officials to have regulations governing medical marijuana, which the state says it intends to meet.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Nevada to meet medical marijuana deadline

Nevada plans to meet April 1 deadline to adopt regulations for medical pot providers, growers

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — State officials say they intend to meet the Nevada Legislature's April 1 deadline to adopt medical marijuana regulations but it could be months before the state begins accepting applications from providers and growers.

Marla McDade Williams of the state Health Division said regulations must be approved before the agency can accept applications.

"We may have staff on board April 1, but we're looking to the summer before we can open requests for applications," she told the Nevada Appeal (http://bit.ly/1eK5kBN ).

Williams, who will manage the program for the Health Division, said she doubts the state will license facilities to provide patients with medical marijuana until September or October.

The Legislature had hoped licensing could begin in April, but that was a target date and not set by statute, said state Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, the law's primary sponsor.

After the division writes the regulations, they must be approved by the state Board of Health and the Legislative Commission. They also must be reviewed by the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

Once the regulations win approval, Williams said, applicants have 30 days to submit paperwork to become a cultivator; manufacturer of marijuana-based products such as edibles; testing lab; or dispensary. The state then has a 90-day period to review applications.

Although Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana in 2000, patients had no legal way to obtain the drug.

The Legislature earlier this year established a regulated system for dispensing medical marijuana to patients with a state-issued card. The law sets up a taxing, regulatory and distribution system for medicinal pot. The law also authorizes one pot dispensary in each of Nevada's 14 rural counties, with up to 40 allowed in Clark County, 10 in Washoe and two in Carson City.

Williams provided an update during a hearing in mid-December in Carson City to review proposed regulations.

Several lawyers representing potential applicants said it would be difficult to comply with some of the rules.

The audit requirements are particularly onerous, said Patrick McDonnell of the law firm Rainey & Devine. A rule requiring a full accredited audit every year could cost businesses from $25,000 to $50,000, he said.

"It's as if you're planning to audit the businesses to death," he said. "It's almost as if you're piling red tape on red tape here."

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