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Veil lifted from marijuana licenses

CARSON CITY — Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill on Friday that lifts the curtain on marijuana business ownership in Nevada and could help the state fend off several lawsuits challenging how it doles out cannabis licenses.

Sisolak said the release of the information under Senate Bill 32, which received unanimous support in both chambers of the Nevada Legislature, “ushers in a new era of transparency that will benefit the industry and the public.”

For nearly two years, the state would not reveal who owns the hundreds of licenses in the industry, citing state law that deemed that information confidential.

SB32, which was brought by the Department of Taxation and amended at the request of Sisolak’s office to add the transparency changes, makes public the names of marijuana business owners, the business names and the names of all who apply for the licenses.

That information became public after Sisolak signed the bill Friday. Following the signing, the Tax Department released that ownership information on on its website.

The newly released information under SB32 also includes the scoring process used in awarding licenses, which could help the state as it combats several lawsuits challenging how the state decides who gets those licenses.

After the state awarded dozens of licenses in December, several companies that were denied sued the Taxation Department, challenging the application and license awarding process.

Sisolak, who took office in January, said he couldn’t comment on the pending litigation when asked if the release of the information could help the state in the lawsuits. But the governor said that the information “should have been transparent.”

Andrew Jolley, CEO of Nevada Organics Remedies in Las Vegas, said in a statement that the public should know who applied for and who holds marijuana licenses in the state.

“These reviews should be transparent which is why we support the governor and lawmakers who passed this bill. we encourage transparency in this process,” Jolley said.

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

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