Friday, April 28, 2017

Nevada Senate Send Social Use Bill to Assembly

Social cannabis use is a big controversial topic of conversation in states which have legalized adult cannabis use – and with good reason. If we want to treat cannabis in the same manner that we do alcohol then we need to allow people to consume it in a social setting – otherwise they will do it anyway, legal or not. This exact problem has caused more or less illegal cannabis clubs to operate throughout states like Colorado, Washington and Oregon for the last few years – and they will continue to do so until regulations for such establishments are put in place.

It seems that Nevada is the only state ready to take the issue seriously and work on passing legislation that will provide statewide regulations for cannabis clubs or lounges. Senate Bill 236 aims to allow individual cities and counties to regulate social cannabis use in private lounges, as well as bars, bars, coffee shops and events like fairs and festivals – and it was just passed at the senate floor with a vote of 12-9 in favor. While they have not been the only state to consider such legislation they are the only one that has continued to move forward with it despite the uncertainty of the Trump Administrations future involvement with the industry.

While Denver is the first city in the United States to regulate businesses allowing social cannabis use, Nevada is well on their way to being the first state to accomplish this goal – which will be greatly applauded by activists both in the state and around the country. Not only will it provide a place for tourists (which are plentiful in the state, especially near Las Vegas), but it also creates another opportunity for the state to generate tax revenue off the new industry; which is important because the governor’s budget for the next two years expects them to generate at least $70 million from cannabis.

“We’re trying to get $70 million in tax revenue from them,” Segerblom said. “So let’s give them some place to use it.”

Segerblom has an excellent point there – hopefully the lawmakers in the Assembly view it in the same light. While the concerns over what will happen with the federal government in coming months might have made other states weary moving forward on such legislation with both Colorado and Alaska abandoning their plans for social use, and Oregon simply seeming to ignore their bill that would do the same, it leaves Nevada in a position to lead the way on this issue. We’re better off providing a safe place for tourists – as well as those who live in housing that doesn’t allow for cannabis use (such as apartments, college dorms, federally assisted housing, etc.) – to smoke, vape or otherwise use the plant that is no longer against the law.

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