Agenda Glitch Could Delay Nevada’s July 1 Cannabis Start

Published on May 26, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Las Vegas, USA - September 30, 2012: Traffic travels along the Las Vegas strip at night. Paris and Planet Hollywood casinos is in the photo. Las Vegas Strip is a portion of of Las Vegas Boulevard South that houses most of the largest and most important entertainment buildings in Las Vegas--including casinos, hotels and resorts. One of the most visited streets in Las Vegas, the Strip offers not only top-class accommodations and gambling facilities, but it also offers street entertainment and great shopping.

Nevada officials have been hustling to get the state’s adult-use cannabis market up and running by July 1, but a complaint filed by a local attorney now threatens to delay that launch date—by as much as two months.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported this week that a complaint filed by Jim Hartman, a Douglas County-based lawyer, claims that the Nevada Tax Commission violated the state’s open-meetings law by failing to mention cannabis on its recent meeting agenda:

Hartman, from Genoa, filed the complaint Wednesday with the Nevada attorney general’s office. The complaint references the May 8 meeting in which the tax commission adopted temporary regulations to allow recreational marijuana to be sold starting July 1 — about six months earlier than called for by Question 2.

Hartman claims the meeting’s agenda violated the law because it did not reference “marijuana,” “early start” or “Question 2.”

Tax commissioners, the Review-Journal reports, said at the meeting that they believed the agenda did not violate the law, and they voted to adopt the early-start regulations. But it’s possible the attorney general’s office could disagree, concluding that the commission did in fact break the open-meetings law. Such a finding would force the tax commission to re-hear the agenda item on June 26. And that could delay the adult-use market’s launch date by nearly two months.

Challenges along these lines are common in state and local government, especially when official actions are particularly controversial. While some can cause severe delays or even scuttle government actions, most end up going nowhere. Still, with the launch of Nevada’s cannabis market little more than a month away, even a slight delay could cause headaches for business owners, tourists, and consumers eager for a summertime start date.

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Ben Adlin
Ben Adlin
Ben Adlin is a Seattle-based writer and editor who specializes in cannabis politics and law. He was a news editor for Leafly from 2015-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @badlin
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