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Clark County back on track for July 1 recreational pot sales

Updated April 7, 2017 - 10:47 pm

Clark County is back on track for a July 1 rollout of recreational marijuana.

At a meeting of the county’s Green Ribbon Panel on Monday, the county unveiled a schedule that would have delayed marijuana sales in much of Southern Nevada until September.

But the panel, which includes several members of the marijuana industry, raised a red flag.

The state plans to issue licenses that would allow currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational weed starting July 1. Panel members said waiting longer would give the black market more time to grow and cut into the tax revenue the county could generate.

The county listened.

At Friday’s panel meeting, a new schedule put marijuana sales back in line with the state’s timeline.

But in order to meet that new deadline, the panel needed to approve certain recommendations during Friday’s meeting so the county commission could move forward quickly.

Here are some of the concepts:

No pot with poker

There would be no consumption or delivery of marijuana to any place in unincorporated Clark County where gambling is present under the panel’s recommendation.

This includes the the entirety of the Strip corridor. But it also encompasses all gaming license holders, meaning no marijuana use at a bar that has video poker, slot machines or any kind of gaming.

The move comes mostly from the advice of panel member and Nevada Gaming Commission chairman Tony Alamo, who told the panel that because of the federal prohibition on marijuana, gaming companies cannot have any ties to marijuana or even allow it on site.

Keep medical, recreational together

In Colorado, marijuana is designated as either medical or recreational from cultivation. The products can never be reclassified, and dispensaries must have separate sales counters for the two programs.

But the panel pushed to avoid that in Nevada by not differentiating medical and recreational marijuana until the point of sale, when recreational would be taxed at a higher rate.

The county would be able to create a “master” marijuana license, that would combine medical and recreational licenses.

Much like the state’s plan, this could let the county effectively piggyback on the current medical marijuana regulations for the recreational market.

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

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