Nevada unveils bill to regulate cannabis under five-person board

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Nevada mountains, photo by Andrey Grinkevich

Nevada would transfer the regulation of cannabis businesses from the state’s taxation department to a governor-appointed, five-member board under a bill filed in the Legislature.

The measure was introduced on behalf of the office of Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, who said in January he wanted to create a marijuana regulatory system modeled after the state’s Gaming Control Board.

In addition to creating the Cannabis Compliance Board to regulate the industry, the bill specifically would authorize the board to:

  • Decide whether to issue cannabis consumption lounge licenses.
  • Establish requirements for marijuana delivery services.
  • Adopt hemp regulations.
  • Revise regulations regarding marijuana inventory control systems.

“Nevada’s gaming industry is seen as the international gold standard, and there is no reason we cannot take steps to ensure our marijuana industry is viewed the same way,” Sisolak said in January when he issued an executive order establishing an advisory panel for the purpose of creating a cannabis board.

The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The measure will require a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

Marijuana regulation in Nevada has proved relatively smooth under the state Department of Taxation but hit a definite bump in the road late last year over allegations that a licensing round wasn’t transparent.

Earlier this month, Sisolak signed what he called a transparency law that resulted in the state disclosing all of the adult-use applicants since the program started, including information about the winners in the recent round.

Still, the state faces multiple lawsuits by applicants that want the process to be done over.