8 marijuana bills awaiting fate in final days of Legislature – Las …


Scott Sonner / AP

Vials filled with samples of marijuana are pictured Friday March 24, 2017 at the Blum medical marijuana dispensary, in Reno.

CARSON CITY — With only five days left in Nevada’s legislative session, much of marijuana’s future in the state is still in limbo.

Four marijuana regulation bills are still making their way through committees in both the Assembly and Senate, while four others are with Gov. Brian Sandoval waiting to be signed or vetoed. Two weed bills have already been signed into law and two others died after missing deadlines this month.

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, has played a major role in sponsoring and pushing marijuana bills through the Legislature this session. Known also for his bills that paved the way for the state’s first medical dispensaries in 2015, Segerblom said weed’s success this session will come down to “hardball negotiations” in the session’s final days.

The fate of some of the bills could be tied to whether Democrats move forward with Republican legislation for Education Savings Accounts.

“That’s the trade-off,” Segerblom said. “There’s a lot of stuff still left on that and a lot of technical changes still in the works.”

Here’s what has passed, what’s left and what’s still on deck for marijuana this session:

Still viable:

Senate Bill 487 (Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Reno): The Senate bill is the Democrats’ bargaining chip in the ongoing battle with Sandoval’s office over Education Savings Accounts and the governor’s recommended budget. It proposes a 10 percent excise tax on recreational marijuana sales to help fund Sandoval’s budget and adds a 15 percent wholesale tax for recreational sales as outlined in Ballot Question 2, which voters passed in November.

About half of the new 10 percent excise tax would be distributed to counties and cities where recreational weed facilities are located, while the other half would be split up between state accounts for education, mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Senate Bill 344 (Sen. Patricia Farley, I-Las Vegas and Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas): SB344 would limit the amount of THC, the active ingredient in weed that produces its psychoactive effects, to 400 milligrams per package of edible products. It would also ban packaging considered “appealing” to children that include images of cartoon characters, mascots, action figures, fruit or toys.

Assembly Bill 259 (Assemblyman William McCurdy, D-Las Vegas): The bill would allow those convicted of past marijuana-related crimes involving an equal or lesser amount of what’s now legal per the voter-approved Ballot Question 2 to have that crime vacated from their criminal records.

That means those convicted of possessing or using less than one ounce of marijuana flower or one-eighth ounce of concentrates would be eligible to have that crime wiped from their criminal records.

Assembly Bill 422 (Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas): AB422 aims to incentivize medical marijuana cardholders to keep their cards by cutting the cost of the state application process in half and doubling the lifespan of a card before it needs to be renewed. Araujo’s bill would cut state costs from $100 for first-time applicants and $75 for those renewing to no more than $50 for all applicants. Cardholders would only have to renew their cards once every two years when provided with a proper doctor’s recommendation instead of every 12 months.

Araujo’s bill would also take away the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health’s ability to view information on tracked purchases by medical marijuana cardholders. Other regulations associated with medical marijuana, like dispensary licensing and enforcement of violations, would be moved over to the Nevada Department of Taxation to fall under the same regulating body as the new recreational marijuana program.

Passed by Legislature and on Sandoval’s desk:

UPDATE: For the latest information on the bills awaiting Sandoval’s signature, click here.

Senate Bill 374 (Segerblom): Segerblom’s wide-ranging bill adds opioid addiction to the list of qualifying medical conditions that would allow Nevadans to obtain a medical marijuana card. It also prevents professional licensing boards from firing or disciplining a board-licensed employee who uses medical marijuana, and allows health care and massage therapists to legally use products containing weed on their clients’ skin.

Senate Bill 375 (Segerblom): SB375 allows the governor’s office to negotiate with tribal governments within Nevada on the use and sale of medical marijuana. It cites the 2013 Cole Memorandum and 2014 Wilkinson Memorandum, which suggest the U.S. Department of Justice should not devote law enforcement resources to crack down on those complying with marijuana laws within their state.

Senate Bill 396 (Sen. Pat Spearman, D-Las Vegas): The heavily amended SB396, first introduced in March as a bill to regulate massage parlors that use medical marijuana topical products, was instead passed to allow growth and research of low THC-level marijuana and industrial hemp. While existing law allows universities to grow and research industrial hemp, Spearman’s bill would allow plants with a THC percentage of less than 0.3 to be more widely grown and researched.

Senate Bill 416 (Spearman, Segerblom and Farley): SB416 would allow medical marijuana facilities — dispensaries, cultivation facilities and testing labs — to apply for and carry out apprenticeship programs.

Signed by Sandoval into law:

SB277 (Senate Committee on Judiciary): The bill, unanimously passed through the Senate and Assembly, requires the Division of Public and Behavioral Health to disclose information on medical marijuana patients to the Division of Parole and Probation if a cardholder or applicant is on parole or probation. Previous laws require the Division of Public and Behavioral Health to keep that information confidential. But, unlike most marijuana laws at this year’s Legislature, SB277 won’t go into effect until Oct. 1.

AB135 (Assembly Committee on Judiciary): Passed with 34 of 42 votes in the Assembly and unanimously in the Senate, the law erases a limit set on the amount of marijuana that can legally be found in the urine of a driver suspected to be impaired. Instead, the amount of marijuana in a driver suspected to be impaired can now only be measured through a blood test.


Among marijuana bills that will not make the final cut include Segerblom’s SB236, known as the “marijuana lounge bill,” that would have allowed businesses to obtain permits for marijuana use, and also open the door for pot consumption in some public places where it is outlawed. The bill passed through Senate and Assembly committees but missed last Friday’s deadline to move forward.

Also recently cut was Ratti’s SB379, which designated revenue from Nevada’s medical marijuana program for agencies that provide child welfare services for alcohol and drug abuse and behavioral health programs. That bill also passed through the Senate last month but never made it out of Assembly committee before a May 19 deadline.

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