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Some independent distributors in Nevada are claiming that Taxation Director Dionne Contine has unfairly and deliberately cut them out of the cannabis business despite language in the initiative that puts transporting cannabis in their hands, according to a Record-Courier report.

Sam McMullen, a lobbyist who represents independent distributors, indicated he was considering filing a writ of mandamus demanding that Contine show how she arrived at the conclusion that there weren’t enough distributors to handle the demand of transporting cannabis products under the state’s forthcoming recreational cannabis regime.

“The people who sold this initiative sold it that it was going to be as reliable as the alcohol industry,” he said in the report. “We were told this is going to be done by an independent person between the (source) and retailer and done right.”

Contine said her department had determined there were not enough interested independent distributors and the law allows officials to open up licenses to alternative distributors. Stephanie Klapstein, a Taxation Department spokeswoman, indicated just 13 small distributors expressed interest in the market which raised concerns that there wouldn’t be enough operators to serve the industry.

“There’s a perception out there we’ve cut them off which we have not done,” she said.

McMullen believes that the department violated the law because they didn’t put the decision before the Tax Commission.

“You do not have the ability to do that independently by yourself in a back room,” he said.

If filed, McMullen’s lawsuit could delay the implementation of the recreational cannabis laws in Nevada, which officials expect to be online by July, 1.

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