weather icon Clear

Transparency could be coming to Nevada marijuana license info

Updated March 26, 2019 - 7:08 pm

CARSON CITY — Significantly more transparency could be coming to Nevada’s marijuana industry under a newly proposed bill amendment unveiled Tuesday.

The amendment comes amid scrutiny that not enough information is being disclosed about Nevada’s recreational marijuana industry or how the state Taxation Department awards marijuana licenses in the state, which has been challenged in several recent lawsuits.

“We’re hearing what people are saying about transparency, and we want to provide as much transparency as possible. And that’s what this is about,” Melanie Young, director of the department, said Tuesday after introducing Senate Bill 32 and the proposed amendment to lawmakers in the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee.

The state law was originally crafted to protect the identities of medical marijuana patients. When voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, many of those same laws were adopted to cover the new industry. And when those laws were combined with laws to keep taxpayer information private, things such as the names of businesses that apply for licenses, those who are awarded the license and the process that Taxation Department uses to make those decisions was considered confidential.

That would change under the amendment, which would specify names of the businesses that apply for marijuana licenses would be considered public information, as would information about disciplinary action against license holders and the methodology, scoring and ranking system that the state uses to determine which applicants get licenses.

The amendment would make that transparency retroactive, dating to May 1, 2017, which is when the state started accepting applications for recreational marijuana licenses.

Some things would still be considered confidential, such as the name of the applicant and the license owner, other personal information, business blueprints, trade secrets and investigative materials.

No one testified in support or against the bill or the amendment Tuesday.

In a statement, Gov. Steve Sisolak called it “an important step” towards increasing transparency in the state.

“As our legal marijuana industry has evolved and flourished, it’s more important than ever that the industry and the public enjoy the benefits of a completely open and transparent process from licensing to operation so that our marijuana industry can become the gold standard in the nation,” Sisolak said.

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, called the changes “absolutely necessary and appropriate,” but wondered if they should actually go further.

“If we’re going to regulate it like gaming, and that’s the way we’re going to go, individual licensees’ personal names and information are going to have to be to have to start being publicly available,” Kieckhefer said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that the names of the corporate owners of these establishments be public.”

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Sisolak signs public records reform bill into law

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that strengthens Nevada’s public records law, making it easier and cheaper for people to get public records and providing for fines if public agencies willfully flout the law.