The governor of Nevada has signed a large-scale marijuana reform bill that more than doubles the legal personal possession limit, consolidates licensing rules and broadens eligibility for participation in the market by people with prior felony convictions.
Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) gave final approval to the legislation from Sen. Dallas Harris (D) on Wednesday, less than a week after lawmakers formally sent it to his desk.
The measure makes a series of revisions to the state’s existing marijuana laws, in part by increasing the possession and purchase limit for cannabis from one ounce to 2.5 ounces. The amount of cannabis concentrates that adults can possess is also being doubled from one-eighth of an ounce to one-quarter of an ounce.
Also, it makes it so adult-use marijuana retailers will no longer need to have a separate medical cannabis license to serve patients. Recreational retailers will automatically serve as dual licensees.
Regulators will no longer be able to issue or renew medical marijuana licenses after January 1, 2024—unless the applicant is located in a jurisdiction that has opted out of permitting adult-use facilities. Medical cannabis patients would be exempt from the state excise tax at recreational retailers.
Fees for licensing applications and renewals will also be reduced under the new law.
Another major change will give regulators discretion when considering the issuance of marijuana business licenses to people with prior felony convictions.
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The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board will be empowered to approve licenses to key stakeholders of a cannabis company who have such prior convictions if it “determines that doing so would not pose a threat to the public health or safety or negatively impact the cannabis industry in this State.”
The board will also need to “impose any conditions and limitations on the granting of an exemption that the Board determines necessary to preserve the public health and safety or mitigate the impact of granting the exemption on the cannabis industry in this State.”
Further, the law will require the state Cannabis Advisory Commission to carry out a study into the potential effects of removing marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), as well as the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act, on the marijuana industry.
A county court deemed the state’s designation of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance despite the enactment of legalization as unconstitutional last year. The state Board of Pharmacy is appealing the ruling.
Additionally, the legislation will require regulators to consider whether any proposed rule change for the industry “is likely to have an adverse effect on the environment and, if so, whether there are any methods to reduce or eliminate that adverse effect which would not impose an economic burden on holders of an adult-use cannabis establishment license or medical cannabis establishment license.”
Lombardo also signed a bill this month that will create a new working group to study psychedelics and develop a plan to allow regulated access for therapeutic purposes.
Additionally, the legislature also recently approved a resolution urging Congress to federally legalize marijuana.
Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.