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Nevada pushes ahead with marijuana clubs
As marijuana states back off of social marijuana use for fear of inciting a federal crackdown, Nevada is bucking the trend and pushing ahead with pot clubs. Senate Bill 236, which would let local governments permit marijuana social clubs and other forms of public use currently outlawed, took one step closer to becoming law Tuesday. The bill passed with a 12-9 vote on Tuesday, and it now goes to the Assembly. On Monday, Clark County’s marijuana advisory panel finalized recommendations for for county commissioners that detail how marijuana lounges in Southern Nevada could work. But other states have exercised more caution under the Trump administration. ADVERTISING In Colorado this month, lawmakers gutted a bill that would have permitted social pot clubs after Gov. John Hickenlooper warned that such a move could draw the ire of the administration and bring federal drug enforcers down upon the state’s billion-dollar industry. In Alaska, lawmakers delayed a law allowing consumption in dispensaries, and Maine is considering a similar move. That leaves the door open for Nevada to become the first state to allow regulated social clubs. The move seems to have support from the gaming industry. Adults 21 and older can possess (and later this year buy) up to an ounce of marijuana, but the law that took effect Jan. 1 makes it so they can only consume that in a private residence. That leaves tourists who stay on the Strip or other resort properties in a conundrum: They will be able to buy pot legally, but will have no place to use it because casinos have been told to keep it off their properties or risk losing their licenses. “Tourists don’t have a home in Nevada,” bill sponsor Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said on the Senate floor before the vote. Pot lounges in Clark County would be located off the Strip, and could act as a “safe haven” for tourists who want to use marijuana, said Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands Corp. senior vice president, at Monday’s panel meeting. Not having those lounges, Abboud added, would cause tourists to bring the drug onto the casino properties and “dump the responsibility onto the resort corridor.” Tony Alamo, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, echoed those thoughts, saying those lounges would keep gaming companies from running afoul with the federal law. Revenue source The Senate voted down party lines, with 11 Democrats and independent Sen. Patricia Farley voting yes, and nine Republicans casting “nay” votes. Segerblom noted Gov. Brian Sandoval’s two-year budget calls for roughly $70 million from a special marijuana sales tax, and said tourists are an important part of that goal. “We’re trying to get $70 million in tax revenue from them,” Segerblom said. “So let’s give them some place to use it.” Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, noted two reasons why he was voting against he bill: He thinks the people who voted for the marijuana ballot measure in November did so thinking that people would only be able to consume in their homes, and because most of the counties he represents voted against legalization.
Nevada marijuana sales permit application period begins
As of November 8th, 2016, both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Nevada. Recreational users who are 21 years of age and older will soon be able to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis (or up to 1/8 ounce of concentrate) at a time. Who can purchase marijuana in Nevada? Thanks to the passing of Question 2, recreational marijuana will be officially legal for people who are 21 years of age and older. Anyone 18 years and older with a valid medical marijuana card can purchase cannabis legally in Nevada, even if the card has been issued from another state. Minors can also qualify for a medical card as long as a parent or guardian signs the Minor Release Form and agrees to act as the child's primary caregiver. Purchasing Limits Although details for recreational purchases are still being ironed out, expect to be able to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower or up to 1/8 of an ounce of concentrate at one time from recreational dispensaries. Note a 15% excise tax will be added to every purchase. Those with a valid medical marijuana card who are at least 18 years old and older (or their caregivers) can purchase up to 2.5 ounces worth of useable marijuana within a two-week period (14 days). This includes flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals -- basically, anything containing cannabis that could get a person high. Currently the definition of “useable” is being debated, as it’s an ambiguous term. Calculations for this limit are based on the total weight of cannabinoids in a product. For example, if a patient wishes to purchase five 100 milligram candy bars, he or she will be able to purchase the remaining weight in flower, concentrates or topicals (which equals around 2.48 ounces of usable marijuana) within a 14-day period. Although patients can shop at multiple dispensaries, purchases are tracked in real-time throughout the state to prevent purchases of more than 2.5 ounces every 14 days. Get your MMJ card - $59 Where to Purchase Marijuana in Nevada A handful of licensed medical dispensaries are now open in Nevada, with recreational shops opening soon. Check out our Nevada dispensary directory for the current complete list. More licensed medical dispensaries and a few hundred licensed growers and producers are expected to open, so there will be plenty of places to find medical marijuana in Nevada at an affordable price. Recreational dispensaries will be determined by county size, with 80 being allocated to Clark County, 20 to Washoe County, four to Carson County and two to the additional 14 counties. Most dispensaries will be found in highly populated areas like Las Vegas and Reno, with the remaining ones sprinkled throughout the rest of the state. Note that liquor distributors will have a monopoly on licenses for the first 18 months, although medical marijuana shops will be first to market to sell cannabis for the same time period. Store Hours Dispensary store hours must be authorized by local governments, be in operation during and only during their established timeframe and have their store hours clearly posted at all times. Store hours vary based on local government regulations. For example, Las Vegas allows medical dispensaries to operate between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm, while Reno dispensaries may be permitted to stay open as late as midnight. Where can you consume marijuana in Nevada? Cannabis consumption is for private use only. It is illegal to smoke in public, on federal land or in a vehicle without risking a fine. There are some hotels that allow tobacco smoke, but most will not permit marijuana use because of concerns regarding conflicting federal law. This is especially true of casinos that work hard to meet gaming regulations, which makes them less likely to want to "gamble" with federal marijuana law. Although there has been some discussion about opening a few marijuana resorts on Las Vegas Boulevard in the future, it's always best to keep a low profile when consuming cannabis in Nevada. Those caught violating public consumption laws in Nevada will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. The ruling judge may assign community service in addition to or in lieu of both jail time and fines. Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Nevada Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Nevada and could result in a fine, potential community service and even jail time. Law enforcement officials will determine if a person is under the influence of marijuana by requesting either a urine sample, blood sample or field sobriety test. If the urine sample shows at least ten nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or 15 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite) or the blood test shows two nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or five nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite), the person will be considered high "per-se," though this can often be contested in court. Transporting Marijuana When marijuana is being transported in a vehicle, it should be in a sealed container away from the driver and any minor passengers. Failure to do so could result in an “Open Container” fine or, in the case of minors in the vehicle, the much more severe citation “aggravating circumstance.” It is also illegal to take marijuana across state lines even if the next destination also has legal marijuana laws because of different marijuana regulations in each state. Exporting Marijuana The U.S. Postal Service should never be used as a cannabis delivery system. All mail is subject to search, especially if it smells like marijuana. If an employee at the post office notices an odd or suspicious package, they are required to report it to the proper authorities. If they decide that there is something illegal in the package, they might still deliver it and then arrest the addressee for sending contraband through the mail. Consumption by Minors Unless the minor has a valid medical marijuana recommendation, it is illegal for him or her to consume cannabis and cannabis-infused products and could result in a misdemeanor. Those caught distributing marijuana-related products to minors are punishable with a minimum one-year sentence for first time offenses and up to life in prison (with potential parole after five years) for subsequent offenses. Cultivation As party of the passing of Question 2, growing at home will be banned within 25 miles of any dispensary, effectively blocking most of the population of Nevada from growing their own flower.