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No consensus on Nevada regulation of marijuana edibles

Updated May 10, 2017 - 7:01 pm

Should adults be allowed to buy pot-infused gummy bears, lollipops or other candies?

State Sens. Patricia Farley and Tick Segerblom say no, but some lawmakers say a ban would go too far in restricting the budding marijuana industry.

Senate Bill 344, co-sponsored by Farley, an independent, and Democrat Segerblom, would put hefty restrictions on marijuana edibles produced and sold in Nevada. The bill unanimously passed the Senate last month and was heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee Wednesday, but no action was taken on the bill.

The bill would prohibit marijuana edibles shaped like cartoon characters, balloons, fruits, mascots, toys or anything that looks like candy. It would also force all edibles to be put in non-transparent packaging. A proposed amendment from Farley would also ban marijuana-infused ice cream.

Farley said the goal is make marijuana edibles less attractive to children.

But some, including representatives from the marijuana industry, said the restrictions go too far.

Wendy Stolyarov, a lobbyist for the Nevada Libertarian Party, said a broad ban on any products that look like candy is not warranted and that it would restrict businesses too much. She also said the proposed amendment on marijuana-infused ice cream is “oddly specific.”

Rianna Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said people will want appetizing products, and wondered why the state would limit the shape of the products when the packaging will be so restrictive.

“No one can see what’s inside the bag,” Durrett said.

Sierra Cannabis lobbyist Will Adler and others said that like guns and alcohol, edible marijuana should be kept away from children.

“At some point, it is a parent responsibility,” he said.

Despite those reservations, the bill seems to have bipartisan support among legislators, including those who disagree with marijuana legalization.

“I’m glad to see this bill going forward,” said Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, while noting he is no fan of the recreational marijuana program.

“The more regulation the better, for me.”

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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