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If the measure passes, smoking will be allowed on private property, including front and back yards, but not on sidewalks or in parks.

 In News, Opinion


Las Vegas Weekly has some thoughts on how legalized marijuana will roll out if Nevada voters approve Question 2 on the November 8 ballot.  Medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since 2000 although the first dispensaries only opened last year.  Polling is indicating a narrow but solid win for the measure that would make recreational marijuana legal for adults over age 21 in Nevada.

If the measure passes, this doesn’t mean people over 21 can light up  on November 9.  Most likely the Nevada Legislature will take up the measure in the Spring and draft regulations.  There will be a licensing process for dispensaries- medical dispensary license holders will most likely get early invitations to apply on a competitive basis.  Once licensed for recreational sales, Nevada’s medical dispensaries will most likely be the place to go for both medical and recreational users to purchase bud, concentrates and edibles.

If the measure passes, smoking will be allowed on private property, including front and back yards, but not on sidewalks or in parks.

Adults 21 and over with a valid US ID or international passport will be allowed to purchase recreational marijuana and just like alcohol, their criminal record will not be a factor.

Given that the Legislature will need to draft regulations and decide if the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health or the Department of Taxation will administer the rules, it could be as early as August of 2017 when recreational marijuana is available or it could take up to two years to get the rules and licensing in place.  But the state cannot drag its feet as the ballot measure is a mandate that must be implemented.

Home cultivation will only be allowed for up to 6 plants and only outside of a 25-mile radius of a dispensary.  Currently medical marijuana patients have some rights to grow up to 12 plants but recreational cultivation that does not meet the 6 plants or 25 miles from a dispensary could be subject to a fine.

Milton Giron, manager at the Henderson branch of Essence Cannabis Dispensary, says he expects the same products medical users can buy now to be available to recreational buyers if Question 2 passes. Which means customers would be able to purchase hundreds of different strains of the plant (indicas, sativas and hybrids); edibles, including cannabis-infused beverages; concentrates like hash and tinctures; medicinal suppositories, sublingual lozenges and more.

The most critical legal impact on users of recreational marijuana, that applies equally to medical users, is that users are not exempt from state prosecution for driving under the influence of marijuana.  This will remain a controversial impact as NRS 484C.110 defines “unlawful amounts of marijuana in the blood or urine” as 10 nanograms per milliliter of urine and two nanograms per milliliter of blood.”

“I can tell you with absolute certainty that if you’ve consumed cannabis within the past 14 days, you will have two nanograms in your system,” Giron says. “Measuring the amount of nanograms of THC in your blood is a terrible way to navigate if a person can drive or operate machinery. It’s not a way to determine whether a person is intoxicated or not.”

It is unlikely that gaming operations will jeopardize their own licensing by trying to get dispensaries operating within casinos.  “Not until federal prohibition [of marijuana] drops,” says Leslie Bocksor, president of Electrum Partners, a cannabis business advisory firm. The federal ban is nothing Las Vegas-based gaming companies would care to test; for openers, it could affect their ability to get gaming licenses in other states and countries. But Bocksor can imagine legal use “creeping closer” to the resort corridor over the next few years, until: “I wouldn’t be surprised if, seven years from now, casino restaurants have a wine list and a cannabis list.”

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