- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas city councilmembers have cleared the way for medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

The council voted 5-2 Wednesday to move forward with setting regulations for the businesses, which could be open by the time state regulations are finalized this year.

Those voting against the move said they were concerned about allowing the sale of a drug that’s still illegal under federal law.

Nevada voters approved medical marijuana in 2000, but that law provided no legal way for patients to obtain the drug except to grow it themselves.

Lawmakers passed a law in 2013 that sets up a framework for distributing medical marijuana, although it allows cities and counties to impose moratoriums.

Las Vegas’ six-month moratorium on dispensaries expired Monday.

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