Most of us in the cannabis industry watched with great joy as Question 2 was approved by Nevada voters during the November 2016 election. While cannabis still remains prohibited under federal law, the passage of Question 2 was a huge victory for cannabis reform in Nevada. Our state joins several others who have decided that […]
Most of us in the cannabis industry watched with great joy as Question 2 was approved by Nevada voters during the November 2016 election. While cannabis still remains prohibited under federal law, the passage of Question 2 was a huge victory for cannabis reform in Nevada. Our state joins several others who have decided that adults are capable of making responsible choices when it comes to cannabis consumption. The following article will discuss some of we can expect now that Nevada has legalized recreational cannabis use.
The good news is that starting on January 1, 2017, adults over the age of twenty-one will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of usable cannabis and one eighth of an ounce of cannabis extract. Individuals who live greater than twenty-five miles from a retail marijuana store will be allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants in a closed locked area at their residence. The law also provides for a state licensed and highly regulated recreational cannabis industry similar to the current Nevada medical program. Like with the medical program, we can expect to see hundreds of jobs created by this new industry. There will also be a need for ancillary businesses who serve the cannabis industry such as realtors and contractors. Another bit of good news is that the passage of Question 2 did NOTHING to change the current medical program. Medical patients can continue to buy, grow, and use their medicine in accordance with existing state law.
Unfortunately those eager to go out and buy recreational cannabis can expect to wait awhile. The law allows for the Nevada Department of Taxation to develop and adopt administrative regulations for the recreational cannabis industry. Although we already have a robust regulatory regime in place for the medical side of the industry, we expect that the Department of Taxation will take some time to finalize the regulations for the recreational industry.
Therefore, we expect that it will be a long wait until residents and visitors can legally buy cannabis from a retail store.
In addition to the good things, we can expect 2017 to bring many of the same problems that cannabis users have been dealing with for years. Cannabis remains federally illegal for virtually any purpose. Cannabis businesses (and their employees) will still face difficulties with banking services. People will still get fired from their jobs for failing drug tests. People will still get evicted from their rental properties for using cannabis. People will still face difficulties with child custody, driving, firearms ownership, travel, etc. The passage of Question 2 was great, but until we have real cannabis reform at a federal level recreational and medical users of cannabis will still face serious legal issues.
Derek J. Connor Esq. is the cofounder of Connor & Connor PLLC along with his wife, Amanda N. Connor Esq. Derek practices primarily in the areas of medical marijuana, civil litigation, business law and criminal defense.