Clark County Commissioners in southern Nevada announced on May 21 that they will utilize funds from cannabis to help the local homeless population.
According to KTNV, the commissioners approved a resolution to provide almost $1.8 million in cannabis tax funds to help aid homeless residents. An estimated $930,884 will go toward HELP of Southern Nevada to aid rapid rehousing services for non-chronically homeless households. The rest of the funds, about $855,591, will go to the same organization to assist with program costs for the Shannon West Homeless Youth Center.
“HELP of Southern Nevada responds to the changing needs of our growing community,” their website states. “We strategically expand our programs and refine our service delivery systems to better serve the poor, the homeless, and those in crisis who come to us as a place of last resort. We pride ourselves on being 100 percent local and 100 percent accountable and engaging other organizations through collaboration to achieve maximum impact with the services we provide and the clients we serve.”
The idea to allocate cannabis funds for homeless assistance was introduced in January of this year by Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick who believed that it would save the county money in the long run. “We know that if we can provide the full service to one client, it saves us for the long run because it saves us in the jail, it saves us at the hospital, it saves us for overall,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The cannabis-related funds are pouring into Nevada, as the state recently approved 61 additional cannabis dispensaries. Fittingly, the licenses for these new businesses are in Clark County. “We issued a number of state-level licenses in counties that have thus far declined to allow marijuana establishments,” spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein of the Nevada Department of Taxation when the stores expanded, according to the The Nevada Independent. “There’s a chance some of those licenses will not ultimately result in operational retail marijuana stores.”
Now that the cannabis business is booming, state legislators are able to use the money for some great causes and setting an example for other states as well.