Just over six months after sales of recreational marijuana began in Nevada, the state’s Tax Commission today approved permanent regulations to govern the industry.
The eight-member commission voted 8-0 in favor of adopting 258 pages of pot regulations, which replace temporary “early start” regulations put in place to govern the Nevada marijuana industry from July through the end of 2017.
Additions to the permanent regulations adopted today include guidance for the state’s selection of recipients for 66 new pot licenses and allowance of home delivery.
“This process and these procedures will be evolving for several years to come,” said Deonne Contine, director of the Nevada Department of Taxation.
The regulations still need final approval from the Nevada Legislative Commission.
Nevadans in the 2016 election approved Ballot Question 2 to allow adults age 21 and over to possess and consume up to an ounce of marijuana flower or up to one-eighth an ounce of the THC equivalent of edibles and concentrates, such as shatter, wax and carbon dioxide oil. It set a start date for recreational weed sales of Jan. 1, 2018.
But last year’s Legislature, led by State Sen. Tick Segerblom, allowed the state’s 60 operating medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling pot for recreational use on July 1 under an “early start” program. Pot establishments approved for the early start recreational licenses last year must reapply for permanent recreational marijuana licenses.
Among those who spoke in support of the new regulations today were Las Vegas attorney Amanda Conor, on behalf of the Nevada Cannabis Coalition, and Riana Durrett, who represents the Nevada Dispensary Association.
Some cultivators argued they should be allowed to sell directly to the public, instead of strictly to dispensaries, if they’re not selected for dispensary licenses.
Durrett said that language for additional dispensary licenses was outlined in Ballot Question 2, not the newly passed regulations, and that as medical marijuana license holders, cultivators would be eligible to apply. Ballot Question 2 calls for the number of available state-issued marijuana dispensary licenses to double — from 66 to 132 — this year.
Nevada already has already approved about 270 marijuana businesses, including about 120 cultivation facilities, 80 production facilities, 10 testing laboratories and 60 dispensaries.