Genoa man challenges early start rules for legalized pot
May 25, 2017
A Genoa man, who opposed recreational marijuana's legalization, has filed a complaint accusing the Nevada Tax Commission of violating the state open meeting law.
In a May 17 letter to the Nevada Attorney General's Office, Nevadans for Responsible Drug Policy President Jim Hartman said the agenda for the May 8 meeting was too vague.
"Specifically, the complaint concerns the inadequacy in the meeting agenda for giving Nevadans proper notice of the Tax Commission's intent to adopt an 'early start' recreational marijuana sales program to commence on July 1, 2017, and to approve temporary regulations thereunder," Hartman wrote.
Voters narrowly approved an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in November.
Question 2 gave the state a year to prepare regulations and didn't include any provision for an early start, Hartman said.
"Evidence of the inadequacy of the agenda notice can be gleaned from the attendance at the May 8, 2017, Tax Commission meeting," Hartman said "While representatives of 'interested parties,' including the marijuana industry, liquor wholesalers, and the media were in attendance, few members of the general public participated — with only two 'unaffiliated' speakers attending in opposition," he said in his letter.
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The meeting agenda item did not mention either Question 2 or marijuana, Hartman said.
According to the agenda, the topic was the "Adoption of proposed Temporary Regulation relating to authorizing the Department of Taxation to adopt all regulations necessary or convenient to carry out the provisions of NRS Chapter 453D."
If the attorney general agrees that the item is vague, it could notify the tax commission of the potential violation. The tax commission could agendize the item more clearly and vote again.
The commission approved temporary rules at the May 8 meeting that will be in effect until permanent regulations are approved at the end of the year. Those rules would allow the commission to start issuing licenses to sell marijuana on July 1.
In April, Douglas County prohibited marijuana businesses by ordinance. The ordinance does not prohibit the use of recreational marijuana or the growing of plants for personal use by qualified people.