Nevada Panel Likely To Keep Barrier Between Gaming, Marijuana

Photo Credit: Bizuayehu Tesfaye

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s 12-member Gaming Policy Committee is poised to uphold the state’s previously approved stance that licensed gaming companies not have business relationships with Nevada’s marijuana industry.

The panel is meeting Monday to consider recommendations to the state Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission about whether regulators should change existing policies about interaction with the state’s flourishing marijuana business.

Nevada voters approved the use of medical marijuana in the state in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2016, but because the federal government views possession and consumption as a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, gaming regulators have been reluctant to allow casinos to have any kind of business relationship with pot providers.

Recreational marijuana sales began July 1. In its first six months of legal operations, the state’s marijuana industry has generated $30 million in tax revenue from the estimated $200 million in sales.

The policy committee, a special panel called together by the governor by executive order to address specific topics related to the gaming industry, is expected to allow one point of entry related to the marijuana business: allowing conventions related to sales to occur in resort convention centers and exhibition halls.

But a resolution proposed by Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo would place tight parameters on those relationships.

The proposed resolution says, “The committee recommends that Nevada gaming licensees take care to ensure that any events on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment do not promote illegal activities or foster incidents which might negatively impact the reputation of Nevada’s gaming industry and, further, that all licensees conduct necessary due diligence and exercise discretion and sound judgment to prevent violations of Nevada or federal law in all business and financial activities.”