Nevada to explore recreational marijuana, gambling convergence

Gov. Brian Sandoval has ordered Nevada’s gambling policy committee to recommend guidelines on issues where the state’s long-established gaming industry and nascent recreational marijuana industry intersect, including whether casino-resorts can host events that promote or cater to the cannabis industry.

The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee – which includes gambling regulators, casino representatives and other industry officials – must meet no later than Dec. 15 and make its recommendations by June 2018 under Sandoval’s mandate.

The chairman of the state’s Gaming Control Board, who’s also a committee member, raised two big questions:

  • Is it legal for casinos to host events where marijuana accessories like pipes are being sold, even if cannabis isn’t being consumed at the event? Marijuana Business Daily holds the world’s biggest business-to-business cannabis conference every November in Las Vegas, but MJBizCon forbids the sale of marijuana accessories and onsite consumption.
  • How can casinos could prevent proceeds from state-legal marijuana business transactions – which are illegal under federal law – from being used for gambling?

The committee is expected to explore whether casinos can receive financing from or provide it to individuals who are in the legal cannabis industry.

Since Nevada’s recreational cannabis program launched July 1, there’s been heavy demand from tourists. But the state’s adult-use law allows consumption only in private homes and prohibits it in public places.

If casinos were to knowingly allow patrons to consume cannabis in their rooms or on casino premises, they’d risk losing their gambling licenses.

–  Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily