For two days last week, Jonathan Cummins of the City of Sparks planning department held two public meetings regarding whether there should be an amendment to the Title 20 zoning code that would allow local dispensaries to have drive-thru services.
Cummins explained that the amendment process began when a member of the public made the request to city councilman Donald Abbott, who then brought it forth in a city council meeting this past January. The city council then directed staff to look into making the amendment. Thus, City of Sparks staff held two meetings so that the public had an opportunity to provide their input and address any concerns or questions.
Each meeting was about an hour long and a handful of people showed up to each one. The three local Sparks dispensaries who would possibly have drive-thru’s include Greenleaf, Reef, and Silver State. Cummins says that the main concern discussed in the meetings was the number of vehicles queuing in a drive-thru, the hours of operation of it (likely the same as when the physical dispensary is open), and employee/customer safety since all dispensaries in Nevada still operate on a cash-only basis.
However, when the covid pandemic began in 2020, many marijuana dispensaries had to pivot and start providing curbside service. Having a permanent drive-thru would alleviate some of the safety concerns about that curbside service.
Last week’s public meetings were to help the City find out what the business community wants and what’s allowed in the City code, and then the planning department will take their findings to the Planning Commission.
“We collected good significant information from those meetings and will be taking it in front of the Planning Commission this summer. They’ll make a decision about whether to allow the amendment and then we’ll take it back to the city council with a recommendation from the planning department,” Cummins says.
He adds that most people who attended the two public meetings in early May were in support of cannabis dispensary drive-thru’s, but it could take several months for the code amendment to be approved.