Nevada Legislature Approves Bill to Establish System of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Jun 04, 2013

dispensaries, Karen O'Keefe, Medical Marijuana, Nevada

945039_10151405174106816_454297201_nNevada state lawmakers approved a bill Monday that will establish a state-regulated system of dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to licensed patients. It will now be transmitted to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his signature, and he has said he is open to dispensary legislation.

MPP's Karen O'Keefe, who testified in support of the bill, was featured in a story by Reno's Fox affiliate station:

"Nevadans with serious illnesses who are using medical marijuana under the supervision of their doctors should have a safe and legal way to obtain it," said Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. "We applaud the Nevada Legislature for taking action to protect patients and promote a safer and healthier state for their constituents.

"We are hopeful that Gov. Sandoval will join legislators and the voters of Nevada in supporting a system of state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries that is long overdue," O'Keefe said. “Regulating medical marijuana works."

SB 374 establishes rules and regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, infused product manufacturers, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities. In addition to standard sales taxes, medical marijuana will be subject to excise taxes of 2% on wholesale sales and 2% on retail sales, of which 75% will be directed to education and 25% will be directed toward implementing and enforcing the regulations.

Currently, patients must grow their own marijuana or have it grown for them by a physician-approved caregiver despite the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998 and 2000 requiring the legislature to set up a medical marijuana program that includes appropriate methods of supplying medical marijuana to qualified patients. In 2012, Clark County District Judge Donald Mosley called the state's current system "absurd," "ridiculous," and unconstitutional. Apparently the legislature agreed. Let's hope the governor will, too.