RENO, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval is raising concerns about a new opinion by lawyers for the state legislature that says nothing in state law prohibits local governments from allowing marijuana consumption in businesses such as cannabis lounges and cafes.
“I did not support them previously,” Sandoval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday. “I don’t support them now.”
Sandoval said in an email to the Reno Gazette-Journal he’s concerned that such establishments could pop up “piecemeal throughout the state” with different rules and regulatory structures.
He also questions why Sen. Tick Segerblom proposed legislation this spring to legalize consumption in some public places if the legal authority already existed.
That measure failed to pass last session. But Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said Monday the new opinion by the Legislative Counsel Bureau should help clear the way for county commissions and city councils to approve legal cannabis consumption at places including special events.
Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak says the commission will discuss the issue at next week’s meeting.
Adults in Nevada 21 years and older have been able to legally buy recreational marijuana since July 1.
Sandoval, a Republican former federal judge, initially opposed legalization of recreational marijuana voters approved last November but said he accepted the will of the people and pushed an early-sale program that began in July instead of waiting six months later as scheduled to expedite collection of revenue from state cannabis taxes.
Sandoval said he’s worried legalization of cannabis lounges might invite more federal scrutiny of Nevada’s marijuana sales. He said he has not read the bureau’s opinion, but he would like the attorney general’s office to weigh in on the matter. He said an opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau “doesn’t have any precedential value.”