marijuana in henderson

What Does the Legalization of Marijuana mean for the City of Henderson and the State of Nevada and its Drivers?

In Nevada, driving under the influence of marijuana can earn drivers $600-$1,000 fine and jail time for the first offense.  At midnight on July 1, 2017, the sale of recreational marijuana began in Nevada.  Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal just like driving under the influence of alcohol. You can carry it around or drive with it in your car, but driving when using is against the law. Passengers are not permitted to ingest marijuana in a vehicle under Nevada law. Smoking or consuming marijuana in public is also not permitted and you can receive a $600 fine.

The City of Henderson does not allow recreational marijuana sales at licensed dispensaries within city limits. Users of recreational marijuana in Nevada and the City of Henderson must be at least 21 years of age.  In addition, public consumption is against the law in Nevada.  If you’re going to use recreational marijuana, the Law Offices of Laura Hunt urges you not get behind the wheel of a car.  It is the same as drinking and driving.  You must use a designated driver, cab or ridesharing service if you use marijuana in the City of Henderson as well as anywhere in the state of Nevada. State and local police including Henderson Police will continue to enforce all impaired driving laws. The Law Offices of Laura Hunt urges you to respect our communities if you choose to use recreational marijuana.  Do not operate a motor vehicle while using marijuana or engage in in any activities that could endanger lives.  It is also extremely important to keep all forms of marijuana secured safely so that is not accessible to children or pets.

In November, 2016, 55 percent of Nevada voters approved of a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.   The following was the text of the ballot question presented to Nevada voters:

STATE QUESTION NO. 2

Amendment to the Nevada Revised Statutes

Shall the Nevada Revised Statutes be amended to allow a person, 21 years old or older, to purchase, cultivate, possess, or consume a certain amount of marijuana or concentrated marijuana, as well as manufacture, possess, use, transport, purchase, distribute, or sell marijuana paraphernalia; impose a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales of marijuana; require the regulation and licensing of marijuana cultivators, testing facilities, distributors, suppliers, and retailers; and provide for certain criminal penalties?

Yes  No 

 

Based open a vote of the people, dispensaries in Nevada will begin opening their doors State leaders speculate that the newly legalized drug will bring a tourism boom to Las Vegas.   Nevada will become the fifth state to allow the recreational purchase of marijuana.

On July 1, 2017, 40 dispensaries will be able to start selling the marijuana to those 21 and older.  It has been estimated that sales could bring in as much as $150 million in tax revenue in two years to the state of Nevada.   That is a 25% increase in tax revenue for the state. Nevada beat California to the punch. California will not begin recreational marijuana sales until January 2018.  Experts have projected that Nevada will likely have the nation’s largest market for the sale of marijuana.

Marijuana, both medical and recreational, will be taxed 15 percent at cultivation, and only recreational marijuana will be sold with a 10 percent sales tax.  Medical marijuana currently is taxed 2 percent at cultivation, 2 percent at production and 2 percent at sale. The law allows a person to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and ⅛ ounce of concentrate.  That is the amount you can legally purchase. This applies to local and visitors to Nevada.

Advertising legalized marijuana may prove to be shocking for many citizens.  However, advertisements are banned from any medium 30 percent of the audience is believed to under the age of 21, according to the Associated Press.

It is also yet to be determined how many of the 45 million yearly tourists to Nevada will even use  marijuana since it will also only be legal to smoke in private residencies. Another obstacle with the new law allowing the recreational marijuana in Nevada is that when the recreational marijuana statue was approved by voters, it gave alcohol wholesalers the exclusive right to the distribution licenses for the first 18 months after the law goes into effect. However, there was little interest by Alcohol wholesalers. Therefore, the tax commissioners approved a temporary regulation that allows the department to make exceptions for non-wholesalers to distribute licenses.

“Letters were mailed to eligible license holders in the state, but Chris Thompson, the executive director for the Las Vegas chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) said with few responses, In May, the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada filed a complaint saying the booze wholesalers should have exclusive rights to the licenses and that a May 31 license deadline for the wholesalers should not be enforced, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. At the end of May, a judge ruled in the alcohol wholesaler’s favor. But state officials have said they intend to appeal this ruling.”

So a careful reading of the text of the statute, the alcohol distributors get to set up regulated distribution methods.  This is unique to Nevada. Nevada has had medical marijuana dispensaries operating since 2015.  The law allows that any leftover medical marijuana those dispensaries are in possession of on July 1 can be sold as recreational.  However, once they run out, there is not a plan until the alcohol wholesalers figure out if they will distribute marijuana and obtain licenses.

During the next month, alcohol wholesalers and state legislators will be working to determine how much of a cut will go to the alcohol industry.   Another obstacle is that liquor licenses are federal and the U.S. government still considers marijuana an illegal substance.  Therefore, marijuana cannot be smoked inside the casinos and bars in Nevada including the city of Henderson.   Experts are saying that could boost sales of marijuana edibles. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nevada-goes-green-recreational-marijuana-alcohol-industry-wants-piece-pot-n778261

However, packaging issues led the Nevada legislature to make emergency changes to marijuana edibles law.  On June 26, 2017, Emergency regulations passed to change edible marijuana products expected to go on sale July 1, 2017.  Many marijuana products will now require packaging changes or will be discontinued. Theses last-minute regulations may require Nevada marijuana dispensaries to remove certain edible products.

On June 26, 2017, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval approved a Department of Taxation statement of emergency that will allow the department to more strictly regulates marijuana edible products starting July 1, 2017.  “The Governor wants to see the state realize the revenues from its sales, and most importantly, wants a regulatory structure that is restricted, responsible and respected,” said Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for the governor’s office.

The new regulations, approved by the Nevada Tax Commission on Monday, prohibit marijuana dispensaries from selling the following for recreational use in Nevada:

  • Any products that contain any more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or more than 100 milligrams of THC per package.
  • Any products that appear to be lollipops, ice cream or are modeled after a brand of products marketed to children.
  • Any products that look like real or fictional characters or cartoons.
  • Any products that apply THC to candy or snack foods other than dried fruit, nuts or granola.
  • Any cookie or brownie products that are not in a sealed, opaque bag.
  • Any products that have images of cartoon characters, action figures, toys, balloons or mascots on the labeling.

For existing packaging that contains the prohibited image, a sticker may be used to cover the images or label, or permanent marker may be used as long as the image is completely obscured, according to a Department of Taxation email sent out to dispensaries on Wednesday. Products being stored outside of consumer view do not need to have the images covered until they are placed on display or immediately prior to sale.

“From day one, we want to make sure that potency, packaging and labeling are strict from the start,” said Stephanie Klapstein, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Taxation.  The last-minute regulations also require packaging to have “THIS IS A MARIJUANA PRODUCT” in bold type, as well as the words “Keep out of reach of children” and a list of all ingredients.

Edibles, which come in the form of everything from gummy snacks to chocolate bars, often have potent doses of THC, Tetrahydrocannabinol, and the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Consumers usually have significantly delayed reactions.

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/college/2017/06/28/nevada-makes-emergency-changes-marijuana-edibles-law/437360001/

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we urge people to act responsibly and not drink or use marijuana before driving.  If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident with someone who has used alcohol or marijuana, please call our office today at 702-450-4868 and we can explain your legal rights and remedies under the law.

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