This week will be the death of many legislative bills, but many of the marijuana-related bills so far are making the cut and moving on to the Senate or Assembly floor. 

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, has sponsored the bulk of the marijuana-related bills (They’re all listed during this session of the Nevada Legislature, which lasts though early June. He said during a work session on Wednesday that some legislators are getting “sick of marijuana” because there’s so much focus during this session on the green plant that became legal for recreational purposes in Nevada on Jan. 1. 

While the Department of Taxation is feverishly trying to write the regulations that will restrict the industry, lawmakers are working on creating laws that will both control and support the emergent recreational marijuana industry. 

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Nevada’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens in Reno on July 31, 2015.
Andy Barron

If bills receive a majority of approving votes in their respective committees before midnight Friday, they move on during the latter half of this session to either the Senate or Assembly floor, depending on which body they were introduced in.

If bills are not voted on before Friday, the bills simply die. Some bills are exempt from this rule, however, for various reasons and can be voted on past this week. Various marijuana bills, mostly those that include changes to the state’s tax structure, are exempt from this week’s voting deadline. 

After Friday, successful bills still have a long way to go. If they receive a majority vote in the Legislature, the bill heads to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk where he has the ability to veto the bill. 

This is where current marijuana-related bills stand as of Wednesday evening: 

S.B. 228: No vote 

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services introduced a bill that would allow registered nurses, psychologists, counselors and social workers who treat opioid addiction to prescribe medical marijuana. Currently physicians can make referrals by providing written testimony that pot would help treat a patient’s cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, seizures, spasms, chronic pain or nausea.

S.B. 236: PASSED

Segerblom introduced legislation that would give local governments the power to permit public marijuana use in businesses such as bars, hotels, restaurants and concert venues.

Businesses could apply for a permit effective for just a few hours, or a permit that would be permanent. City governments would issue permits within incorporated areas, and county boards of commissioners would issue permits for unincorporated areas.

S.B. 302 : No vote (Exempt from the requirement of being heard by April 15)

Segerblom; Farley; Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas; Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas; Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas and Assemblyman Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas sponsored a bill to begin an early start program for recreational marijuana in Nevada. The Early Start program would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling recreational product immediately, although the Department of Taxation already plans to get recreational product on dispensary shelves by July 1. It is unclear if the bill truly could catalyze a program that already is on a fast track.

Under the bill, the tax on marijuana sales would be significantly higher than those that currently are in place for marijuana. The bill would eliminate the 2 percent wholesale tax and raise it to a 5 percent state tax for medical marijuana, charged upon sale, and a 15 percent state tax for recreational marijuana, also charged upon sale.

S.B. 329: PASSED

Segerblom introduced a separate, 147-page bill, SB 329, that would allow for medical marijuana research. The same bill would add post traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that could qualify a patient for medicinal marijuana consumption.

Under Segerblom’s bill, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries could accept donations of marijuana, and all medical marijuana establishments would have to install video security which law enforcement could remotely access in real time.

The bill also would allow for donations of marijuana and also would authorize anyone who can write a prescription to write a recommendation for marijuana. Certain applicants for medical marijuana registration cards — veterans with PTSD and others with terminal conditions — could apply for permanent cards. 

S.B. 341: No vote

Segerblom and Farley introduced a bill that would allow money raised from medical marijuana establishment applications to be spent not only on government costs and schools. Segerblom and Farley believe that the money should also be spent on programs used to educate people about the safe usage of marijuana.

Segerblom and Farley’s bill also suggests that counties and incorporated cities should not impose requirements upon marijuana establishments that are not zoning related. The bill also would limit the license tax that a county or city could impose upon a marijuana establishment.

S.B. 344: PASSED

Nevada law already requires all marijuana products to be packaged in a way that is not appealing to children, but Senate Bill 344 take that mandate a step further.

The bill would make it illegal for edible marijuana products to contain sugar unless they are baked goods and to be labeled with images of cartoon characters, mascots, action figures, balloons, fruits or toys. Products also would not be able to be modeled after a brand of products primarily consumed by children, such as gummy bears or Teddy Grahams.

S.B. 351: No vote

Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, introduced a bill which would allow medical marijuana users to possess a firearm and a conceal and carry permit. Sheriffs currently are required to deny an application for a permit to carry a concealed firearm or revoke an existing permit if someone is a medical marijuana card holder.

S.B. 374: PASSED

The bill prohibits a professional licensing board from taking disciplinary action against a licensee who holds a marijuana registry identification card or engages in certain lawful activities relating to marijuana. It also prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against an employee for expressing opinions relating to marijuana.

S.B. 375: PASSED

Under this bill, the state would work with individual tribes whose tribal councils have voted to legalize marijuana for either medical and recreational uses to create pacts allowing for marijuana industry to operate on tribal lands. All operations would have to be at least as restricted as those regulated by the state. 

While some tribes are only interested in opening dispensaries and others are interested additionally in production, all businesses would have to uphold the same health, security and taxation standards expected of state-licensed businesses even though the businesses would not carry state licenses, Segerblom said.

S.B. 378: No vote

This bill, like S.B. 351, would allow a medical or habitual user of marijuana to possess or control a firearm. The bill also would require the sealing of all records for those who formerly were convicted of possession of 1 ounce of marijuana or less. It also would revise protocol for testing drivers who are suspected to be under the influence of marijuana, allowing law enforcement to ask for a saliva test. 

S.B. 508: No vote (Exempt from the requirement of being heard by April 15)

This bill, set forth by Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office, suggests a 10-percent excise tax on marijuana at the point of sale. The monies collected would be distributed to the State Distributive School Account. All dollars would be used on schools. 

A.B. 135: No vote

Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, sponsored a bill that would eliminate urine tests as a way to test drivers suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana. The bill would require testing for a specific marijuana metabolite in the blood that is intoxicating. Current urine tests sometimes test for non-intoxicating metabolites.

A.B. 463:No vote (Exempt from the requirement of being heard by April 15)

Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, introduced a bill allowing counties and cities to collect a flat tax or a percentage of gross revenue, or a combination of the two, from medical marijuana establishments. 

A.B. 422: No vote (Exempt from the requirement of being heard by April 15)

Araujo’s other bill would transfer the medical marijuana program from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Taxation and would revise provisions relating to medical marijuana cardholders. 

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