CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – The latest on a legal fight over Nevada’s recreational pot industry:
A judge won’t throw out a lawsuit from a powerful liquor lobby that wants a piece of Nevada’s new recreational marijuana industry.
A group of independent liquor wholesalers say the ballot measure that voters approved last November legalizing recreational pot makes it clear they’re the only ones that can distribute the product for retail sales scheduled to begin July 1.
State lawyers tried to persuade Carson City District Judge James Wilson on Tuesday to dismiss the lawsuit and allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to serve as their own middlemen in recreational sales.
Wilson refused. He left in place an order he issued May 30 that blocks any licensing until he holds a daylong hearing next Monday.
A judge in Nevada is trying to decide whether the state’s first sales of recreational marijuana should begin as scheduled July 1 despite complaints from alcohol distributors.
Lawyers for the liquor distributors and the Nevada Department of Taxation are expected to go before Judge James Wilson in Carson City on Tuesday to argue the case.
Wilson granted a temporary restraining order May 30 blocking licensing of pot distributors under the ballot measure voters approved in November.
The liquor distributors argue the law dictates they get the first shot at the equivalent licenses for recreational marijuana.
The state says it has the authority to license medical marijuana dispensaries to play that role on a temporary basis from July 1 through Dec. 31.
The Nevada Cannabis Coalition says any delay could cost the state millions of dollars a month in tax revenue targeted for schools.