Marc Fuyà

Nevada Governor: Recent Opinion Allowing Social-Use Venues ‘Circumvented’ Legislative Process

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval insists that a recent decision by the state Legislative Counsel Bureau indicating that the state’s adult-use law does not prevent municipalities from licensing social-use clubs has “no precedential value,” and the issue should be determined by the legislature in 2019 according to a KTVN report.

“I also question it because there was a bill that was introduced in the legislature to allow for pot lounges, which again, I opposed,” he said in the interview. “That bill didn’t go anywhere and now I feel like they’ve circumvented the legislative process to happen.”

Sandoval did not support the ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in the state. The LCB’s interpretation effectively would allow local governments to grant social-use licenses to cannabis-friendly lounges, coffee shops, and other businesses, including special events such as festivals. State Sen. Tick Seagerblom said the decision sets the stage for Nevada to become “the marijuana capital of the world.”

Will Adler, director of the Sierra Cannabis Coalition, said the measure gives tourists options to use cannabis and cannabis-friendly lounges and lodging could create “a new avenue for marijuana tourism” in the state.

“Don’t expect them to crop up everywhere because it’s still up to the local government to say ‘Hey, we’re going to regulate these at our level because the legislature hasn’t done anything with it yet,’” Adler said in the report.

So far, there is no state with recreational cannabis laws that allow for social use. Last month, cannabis regulators in Alaska unveiled rules that would regulate a state-wide social use policy, but the issue has not yet been approved by the Marijuana Control Board. Denver, Colorado voters approved a social-use ballot initiative last November, but the plan is viewed by many industry operators as too strict to take off.

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