At long last, the Silver State has passed legislation for medical marijuana dispensaries to operate legally under state law, becoming the 14th state to do so. On Wednesday, Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed a measure regulating a network of growers and dispensaries. Nevada patients holding medical marijuana cards will also be allowed to continue growing their own cannabis until 2016.
It’s been 13 years since Nevada residents voted in favor of medical marijuana, but efforts to legislate dispensaries and growers have all failed, until now. Nevada lawmakers eventually looked to Arizona’s medical marijuana law for a sense of how to operate a state-run program – an unlikely source for inspiration given the Arizona state government’s efforts to block implementation of their voter approved medical pot program.
Championing the new Nevada dispensary law were Senator Mark Hutchinson (R-Las Vegas) and Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-Las Vegas), a freshman legislator who was the deciding vote in the bill passing the Assembly.
Revenue from the program will fund regulation of the dispensaries, with any remaining funding going towards education. Taxes will be levied on medical pot at the growing, processing, and selling stages, and substantial application fees for cannabusinesses will also pad the state’s coffers.
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