Effective Monday, the marijuana possession limit for adults in Nevada will more than double to 2.5 ounces. Recreational retailers will also become authorized to serve medical cannabis patients as well, without having to get a separate license.
The policy changes are coming into effect under a large-scale marijuana reform bill that Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) signed into law in June. The legislation also broadens eligibility for participation in the market by people with prior felony convictions.
One of the key provisions of the law increases 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, and existing medical cannabis licensees can apply to dually serve adult consumers.
Regulators will no longer be able to issue or renew medical marijuana licenses after Monday—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.
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 requires 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.”
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Meanwhile, Nevada officials recently adopted a proposal to amend hiring standards for police officers to allow job candidates who were previously disqualified for certain marijuana-related offenses to now be eligible for law enforcement positions.
The governor also signed legislation in June to create a new working group to study psychedelics and develop a plan to allow regulated access for therapeutic purposes.
In May, the state Senate approved a resolution urging Congress to federally legalize marijuana, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) voted to send a proposed regulatory amendment to the governor that would formally protect athletes from being penalized over using or possessing marijuana in compliance with state law.
Regulators this summer also began approving the state’s first conditional licenses for marijuana consumption lounges.
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