SPARKS, NV (KOLO) The Sparks City Council voted not to revoke the marijuana cultivation and production business license of Silver State Trading, which is a cannabis facility.
The reason the license was in question in the first place is something CEO and owner John Sutton says everyone in this industry faces.
"While everyone else in the mainstream uses things as prosaic banking, we still don't have access to banking and just for a moment, imagine a world where you were being paid in cash all the time; you had no access to a bank account, so if you needed a wire or to pay a bill via check you can't do it," he says.
Sutton's business license could have been revoked by the Sparks City Council due to a late payment, but he says it wasn't because he lacked the cash.
"Though certainly we can plan for a tax payment, but in this case it was a convergence of factors which we did not get our cash transport, which happens on an undisclosed day and undisclosed time. The reality is I had to make a very difficult call whether to pay my employees or the City of Sparks in 48 hours," Sutton says.
Unlike most mainstream businesses, for Silver State Trading and other cannabis facilities, the money has to be transported physically across the state. Sutton chose to pay his employees over the payment.
"Primarily because I love our people and in hindsight it was probably a foolish decision to that, and it exposed me to this problem, but on the other hand going through this process has given me a lot of respect for what the City of Sparks is trying to do as it related to a new industry," he says.
Sutton says it was the extreme winter weather earlier this year that affected the transportation.
"When they're bringing cash or they're transporting products on that 450 miles between here and Las Vegas, a disruption prevents us from receiving cash. In a mainstream business it could have been wired, ACH, but in this case, like the wild west, I'm reliant on that transport between here and Las Vegas and in this case it did not work out," he says.
Sutton says everyone is new to this growing industry and is confident that it will catch up with mainstream business and get equal access to banking.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019