Nevada Senators Give Marijuana Bills Thumbs Up, Mostly

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Ron Strider

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Two marijuana bills skated through the Nevada Senate on Tuesday, another deadline day, and two others squeezed through. All bills introduced in the Senate and the Assembly had to be heard in their respective body by the end of the day on Tuesday, unless they were exempt due to fiscal notes. Both S.B. 375, which advocates for tribes' rights to establish marijuana facilities, and S.B. 344, which aims to protect children via marijuana packaging mandates, received a 21-0 vote of approval from the Senate floor on Tuesday. Both bills will now head to the Assembly floor.

S.B. 236, which would allow businesses to apply for a license that would allow the use of marijuana on that businesses property, did not receive the same bipartisan support, passing with a 12-9 vote.

Another bill, S.B. 374, which would allow medical providers to recommend medical marijuana to patients with opioid addictions also passed with a 12-9 vote.

The Assembly last week passed A.B. 135, which would eliminate urine tests for drivers suspected to be under the influence of marijuana. The bill, which passed 34-4 and another four members excused, was proposed by Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas. The only amendment thus far has been to eliminate saliva tests.

Yeager's bill will move to the Senate floor.

The Senate bills, on the other hand, passed with sizable amendments on Tuesday.

Here's a review of some of the amendments made thus far:

1.Senate Bill 344, a bill sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas and Sen. Patricia Farley, Non-partisan-Las Vegas, would require marijuana to be packaged in a fashion that is not appealing to children. It would make it illegal to feature balloons, action figures, cartoons and other images on a package.

The bill's latest draft includes proposed changes that would also make any marijuana product that contains sugar, unless it is a baked product, illegal. Industry leaders have argued that the bill's definition of "candy" is too broad.

The amendment would also require recreational marijuana retailers to sell child-safe containers and offer a notice that alerts consumers to keep products away from children.

The bill also would require products to be labeled with the amount of servings of THC, the psychoactive ingredient, in a package. Ten milligrams of THC would be the maximum measurement in one serving, according to the amendment.

2. Senate Bill 375, sponsored by Segerblom, allows the governor of Nevada to enter into agreements with state tribes interested in allowing medical and recreational marijuana industry on tribal lands. The tribal regulations would have to be as strict as those enforced by the state.

The amendment to the bill includes a deletion of a clause that would have authorized such compacts only after Jan. 1, 2020.

More language for recreational marijuana establishments also is included since much of the original language addressed only medical marijuana establishments.

3. Senate Bill 236, also sponsored by Segerblom, passed the Senate but to the chagrin of Republicans. The bill would allow businesses and special events to apply for a license to allow pot on their premises.

An amendment to the bill would preclude businesses in specified areas from qualifying for such a license. For example, any business on public airport property, within 1,000 feet of a public or private school or within 300 feet of a community facility would be precluded from such a license.

The amendment also states that the license can only be granted to applicants who are not making unreasonable requests.

4. Senate Bill 374, another Segerblom bill, passed the Senate but had some amendments. Another bill initially addressed the use of marijuana to treat opioid addiction, so the amendment adopted some of the language from that other bill later on.

Additionally, the amendment removed some of the protections of massage therapists and other providers interested in using marijuana-infused products for healing practices.



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Full Article: Nevada senators give marijuana bills thumbs up, mostly
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