Nevada high court: Medical MJ business licenses are private

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The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the names of people who possess medical marijuana business licenses in the state are confidential and don’t have to be made available to the public.

The court’s decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the Reno Gazette-Journal against the city of Sparks in 2015.

The newspaper demanded that the municipality turn over unredacted copies of MMJ business licenses. The city had previously provided copies of the MMJ licenses with redacted names to the Gazette-Journal and then denied follow-up requests for copies that weren’t redacted, prompting the lawsuit.

In the high court’s ruling, judges wrote that Nevada law gives authority to the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health to adopt regulations that make the information confidential, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Other Nevada municipalities – such as Clark County, home to Las Vegas – have made the names of MMJ license holders public. Clark County chose instead to redact proprietary financial information.

The question of whether to release the names of marijuana business owners has been an issue in several states, including Colorado and New Mexico.