Nevada Getting Serious About Pot. Breaking News Proves It.

Two things happened today in Nevada that further indicate the state is getting serious about pot.

First, the Nevada Supreme Court amended the state rules of professional conduct for lawyers to allow lawyers to provide their clients with advice on Nevada’s medical marijuana laws. As far as we know, every state that has looked at this issue has held similarly (with a few exceptions, like Maine), which only makes sense. How is it that a criminal lawyer can represent murderers, rapists and con artists and yet cannabis business lawyers are not supposed to help their clients COMPLY with state law? Come on.

Second, and a bit more surprising, the Nevada Gaming Control Board told its license holders that they cannot participate in Nevada’s medical marijuana business unless and until the federal government legalizes it. There had long been rumors that such a decision would come down, but the longer it took for it to happen, the more people started to think that it would not. But it has.

In other Nevada cannabis news, the Clark County Commission will within about a month be deciding which of the 109 companies met its rigorous standards for operating medical marijuana businesses. Nevada law allows for 66 medical cannabis businesses and 40 are expected to open in Clark County.

The Clark County Commission prohibits dispensaries in the gaming corridor, running from St. Louis Avenue to St. Rose Parkway along Las Vegas Boulevard and 1,500 feet east or west of the median, as well as property around the Wynn and Encore casinos. The law also mandates that medical marijuana businesses must be within a commercial, industrial or overlay zoning area and that company must own the real estate or have the landlord’s written consent to use it for cannabis.
Our cannabis business lawyers have found Nevada’s laws and regulations to be as complicated and tough as any with which we have dealt anywhere. A Nevada client of ours gave us permission to write about the work that we did in preparing it for a Nevada cannabis license and we will be writing on that within the next few days. (update: we have since written about this in detail in a post entitled “Nevada MMJ Licenses. What It Takes, Every Single Step Of The Way”)