Legal adult marijuana sales began in Nevada on Saturday, making it the fifth state in the nation to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. PT, adults 21 and older with a valid ID will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana-infused edibles or concentrates from licensed marijuana retail outlets. Retail marijuana sales will be subject to a 10 percent sales tax, which state officials estimate will generate more than $60 million in the first two years.
Question 2 required the state to initiate adult sales by January 1, 2018, but the Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations allowing sales to begin six months earlier through existing licensed medical marijuana outlets. Marijuana possession has been legal for adults 21 and older since Question 2 took effect on January 1, 2017.
MPP's Mason Tvert made the following statement in a press release:
“Legal marijuana sales in Nevada are going to accelerate growth in public support for ending marijuana prohibition,” Tvert said. “Tens of millions of visitors per year from all over the U.S. and around the world will see firsthand that regulating marijuana works. What happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas, but what is learned about marijuana in Vegas will be shared with everyone back home.”
MPP received the Award for Community Activism at the 2016 Cannabist Awards last night during the Cannabis Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. Fittingly, the award was accepted by our director of state campaigns, Matthew Schweich, who oversaw MPP's highly successful initiative efforts in 2016.
Thank you to everyone who voted for us, and an even bigger thank you to all of the volunteers and supporters who help us do the work we do.
The campaign in support of Question 2 in Nevada has launched a new ad campaign that highlights the ways in which regulating marijuana for adult use would benefit veterans and others who have difficulty accessing marijuana for therapeutic purposes via the existing medical program.
The ads — a statewide TV spot and several billboards appearing across the Las Vegas metro area — feature a Marine Corps veteran who substituted marijuana for prescription painkillers to alleviate pain associated with fractures in his leg began airing recently across Nevada to promote Question 2, which would regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults. The TV ad can be viewed below.
From the press release issued by the Yes on 2 campaign:
State Sen. Patricia Spearman (D – North Las Vegas) added: “As a veteran myself, I am very sympathetic to the plight of veterans who are suffering with pain, PTSD, or any other condition. If marijuana can help these veterans, I think it is our obligation to allow them to obtain the relief they deserve. If VA doctors are unable to provide recommendations to veterans so that they can obtain medical marijuana, there should be another option. A legal, adult-use marijuana market can address that need.”
Nevada patients who have been waiting for years for a licensed dispensary to open in the Las Vegas area finally have some good news. On Monday, doors opened to the Las Vegas area’s first dispensary — Euphoria Wellness. Over 70% of Nevada’s medical marijuana patients are located in Clark County and, until now, they had nowhere to purchase their medicine.
In 2000, voters overwhelmingly supported an initiative that made Nevada one of the earliest states to adopt a medical marijuana law. It took the Nevada Legislature another 12 years to pass a law permitting regulated businesses to provide Nevadans with safe access to cannabis. The first store opened a few weeks ago in Sparks — a little over two years after the bill allowing dispensaries was passed.
The delays have been very frustrating for patients, but hopefully this is a sign that Nevada is finally getting its act together and implementing the medical marijuana law in an appropriate manner.
For more information on the medical marijuana program, visit the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol launched a signature drive Tuesday in support of a 2016 ballot measure that would end marijuana prohibition in Nevada. State Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) and former Nevada Republican Senate Caucus Executive Director Joe Brezny were the first to sign the petition at a news conference in Sen. Segerblom's law office.
The initiative would make private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. It would establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, licensed cultivation facilities, licensed manufacturing facilities, licensed testing facilities, and licensed distributors. It also establishes a 15% excise tax on wholesale transactions and directs all tax revenue from the tax to be spent on education.
In order to qualify for the 2016 ballot, the campaign must submit more than 100K valid signatures by Nov. 11, 2014.
The Marijuana Policy Project is gearing up for a 2016 campaign to tax and regulate marijuana in another Southwestern state, Nevada.
Although a recent poll found that a majority of Nevada residents (54%) support legalizing marijuana for adults and 39% voted in favor of legalization on a 2002 ballot, MPP’s communications director Mason Tvert said that there are several reasons to wait until the November 2016 election to launch a petition. By 2016, Tvert said, the campaign will almost certainly have the funds and public support necessary to launch a successful petition drive and secure a victory.
“Given the costs, is it worth trying in 2014 and getting 49.9% of the votes when if we wait until 2016 [we can] get well over 50%?,” Tvert said.
Politicians in Nevada have already expressed their support for ending the current prohibitionist regime. Assemblyman Joe Hogan introduced a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in March, saying that the state wastes barrels of money “spoiling teenagers’ lives.” Assemblyman Andrew Martin testified in favor of legalization, arguing that it could secure nearly $500 million a year in tax revenue for schools.
In continuing coverage of the unveiling of MPP's billboard supporting boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in his struggle against the draconian fines imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana on a drug test, MPP director of communications Mason Tvert was interviewed on Ralston Reports:
On Tuesday, MPP unveiled its billboard in support of boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who was fined $900,000 and handed a nine-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for testing positive for marijuana.
Located at 2001 Western Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada, the graphic proclaims, “A majority of Nevadans support Julio’s SAFER choice,” referencing a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. “Stop driving athletes to DRINK!”
“Marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violent and aggressive behavior than alcohol,” stated MPP’s director of communications, Mason Tvert. “The NSAC should change its marijuana policy and stop driving athletes to drink.”
The billboard and the NSAC’s illogical policy have garnered much attention. After waking up Tuesday morning to find his name splashed across MPP’s billboard, Chavez’s attorney Donald Campbell released a statement on his client’s behalf:
“In response to the many press inquiries regarding the Marijuana Policy Project’s billboard, we wish to reiterate that our client, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., does not encourage the illicit use of marijuana. That having been said, he is, nevertheless, most grateful for the very visible and vocal support of [MPP] as well as that of the many news and sports commentators nationwide who have condemned the unconstitutional, and indeed, draconian fine of $900,000 leveled against him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for having smoked a marijuana cigarette nine days before the Martinez fight.”
MPP is calling on the NSAC to drop the excessive penalties against Chavez and change its policy so that it no longer steers athletes toward using alcohol by threatening to punish them if they choose to use the less harmful substance – marijuana. The request will be delivered to the NSAC in the form of a Change.org petition.
Stand with Julio and add your name.
In yet another illustration of how the marijuana debate has gone completely mainstream, the freshly-crowned winner of the Miss USA pageant, Alyssa Campanella, stated that she supported the use of marijuana for medical purposes. As the California representative at the pageant, the judges thought it appropriate to ask the young lady about her opinions on marijuana. She had this to say:
"Well, I understand why that question would be asked, especially with today's economy, but I also understand that medical marijuana is very important to help those who need it medically," she said during the pageant.
"I'm not sure if it should be legalized, if it would really affect, with the drug war," she said. "I mean, it's abused today, unfortunately, so that's the only reason why I would kind of be a little bit against it, but medically it's OK."
Well, it’s great that a Miss USA contestant feels comfortable supporting people finding relief from this proven, if unaccountably still controversial, medicine. It seems to me, however, that her position regarding ending marijuana prohibition altogether was a little less assertive. I’m willing to wager that she felt she had to say she was against taxing and regulating marijuana for all adults to please the judges, even if it was just “a little bit against it.”
What is even more significant is that this question has become so prominent in the public arena that it is being asked at such a traditionally tame event as the Miss USA contest.