A bill proposed Friday by Sen. Tick Segerblom would kick-start recreational marijuana sales in Nevada.
But a statement out of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office could spell doom for the bill.
Senate Bill 302 would let medical marijuana dispensaries forgo the medical card requirement and sell cannabis to anyone 21 and older. The measure would allow for some sales for the drug while the Nevada Department of Taxation crafts permanent business regulations.
If passed, the bill would go into effect as soon as it is signed into law.
But therein lies the rub.
A task force created by Sandoval last month is working on essentially the same thing.
The governor’s Marijuana Task Force is in the early process of crafting its own temporary regulations that would let medical shops sell recreational marijuana while the tax department finalizes the regulations. The panel is expected to report its findings and recommendations in May. Department of Taxation Director Deonne Contine has stated repeatedly that the goal start date for recreational sales is July 1.
Segerblom acknowledged that the task force and his bill share a goal of getting sales started before the mandated Jan. 1 2018 deadline set by Question 2. Segerblom said his bill is “a little simpler,” he said.
But Sandoval has the power of veto, and he would likely use it if this bill got to his desk.
“The Governor does not support the sale of legal recreational marijuana to the public until after the Department of Taxation has thoroughly reviewed the issues associated with such sales and he is satisfied that they have been properly vetted by law enforcement and other interested parties,” Sandoval’s spokeswoman, Mari St. Martin, said in a statement.
Contact Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.
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POT SALES TIMELINE
Important dates for recreational marijuana sales in Nevada:
May 30: The deadline for the Marijuana Task Force’s regulation recommendations
June 5: The final day of the Nevada Legislature when new laws can be signed
July 1: The tax department’s target start date for allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis temporarily.
Jan. 1: Deadline set by Question 2 for the tax department to have permanent regulations in place for recreational sales.