43°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Nevada Supreme Court to settle marijuana distribution fight

CARSON CITY — The legal saga of who can transport recreational marijuana to the state’s pot shops continues, with the Nevada Supreme Court issuing a temporary injunction prohibiting the state Department of Taxation from licensing marijuana businesses as distributors.

The Supreme Court, in an order dated Thursday, denied a request by the Tax Department to reject the temporary injunction sought by alcohol distributors. The request for the injunction was filed by the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada. The court also rejected the agency request to dismiss the case.

The court has ordered oral arguments in the dispute over who should be able to distribute recreational pot for Oct. 3 at the Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

Alcohol distributors argue that they have the exclusive right under Question 2 to distribute recreational marijuana from grow facilities to retail establishments for 18 months. The Tax Department found that the liquor industry was unable to fulfill the distribution demands so it had to license other companies.

The legal battle has been waged since June, when liquor distributors sued to stop the licensing of marijuana companies to do their own distribution. The Tax Commission last month upheld the finding that there was insufficient interest from alcohol distributors, and that not licensing marijuana companies would create an emergency situation that would hinder supply that could affect the state budget.

The Tax Department, in a filing opposing the injunction, said Gov. Brian Sandoval’s statement of emergency regarding the distribution issue was valid. The statement cited concerns about the loss of tax revenue to the state, the risk of “black market” sales, and the potential economic loss to Nevada businesses, employees and investors.

Alcohol distributors argue there is no emergency situation requiring the Tax Department to license other businesses as pot distributors.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
THE LATEST