Nevada governor names head of new cannabis regulatory panel

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(This story has been updated to provide additional detail on the status of Nevada’s former cannabis licensing chief.)

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed an executive director to the new Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB), which is aimed at providing stronger oversight of the state’s $640 million legal cannabis industry.

The panel, created by Assembly Bill 533, is modeled after the state board that oversees gambling and casinos.

Sisolak appointed Tyler Klimas, a state government and federal affairs veteran, as the first CCB executive director.

Legislation also permits the governor to appoint the board members.

The announcement comes as Nevada struggles with lawsuits following a cannabis licensing round in late 2018.

Jorge Pupo, former head of the state’s cannabis licensing division, was placed on administrative leave last month after allegations of favoritism and improper conduct.

Eden Larson, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Taxation, said Pupo is no longer with the taxation department but declined to provide additional information.

In a statement distributed on social media, Sisolak made a point of noting Klimas’ “thoughtful, impartial perspective.”

Klimas previously supported the Nevada governor’s office and other clients while working for a Washington DC-based federal affairs firm called District Strategies.

The Nevada governor’s office said in a news release that Klimas initially will serve with the state Department of Taxation’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, “where he will help lay the groundwork for the transfer of its regulatory authority over Nevada’s marijuana industry to the CCB.”

Cannabis sales in Nevada totaled $639 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, a 20% increase over sales of $530 million for the same period a year ago.