For someone 21 years or older in Nevada, it will now be legal to possess, use and consume marijuana starting January 1st of 2017. However, the passing of question 2 isn't the end for lawmakers, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done in the 2017 legislature.
Will Adler, executive director with the Nevada Medical Marijuana Association, says the best way to think about ballot question 2 passing as a law, is to think of the new law as the bones in a hand.
“And then the policies that the legislature will put into place in the 2017 session is sort of like the muscle and skin and then if you get a tattoo or something it's like local regulations on top of that," says Adler.
He says even though the bones of the hand have been built with a vote yes on 2, the rest of the hand still needs to be put in place at the 2017 Nevada legislature.
“What's written is going to be implemented but they can add to it, more rules, more regulations, more policies as they see fit in the legislature and then the department of taxation has to regulate it all," says Adler.
He says any of the new rules and policies that the legislature decides will be written by January 1st of 2018 and only then will applications begin to be processed for those who want store fronts to sell recreational marijuana.
“We're looking at at least a year and a half before we'll have fully regulated legal sales," says Adler.
Because of that 18 month gap between legally selling recreational marijuana and legally possessing it this January, he expects to see a push from lawmakers to speed things up.
“I think you're going to see maybe the governor’s office or some other state pressure asking the department of taxation to speed up their regulatory process to get to legal sales faster," says Adler.
In the meantime, before the 2017 legislative session is called to order, he says now is the time for he and others in the marijuana industry to interact with people in the state now that question 2 has passed.
"Some counties voted against it, some counties voted for it and some elected officials wanted it and some didn't, so really the work begins of normalizing marijuana and creating a really vibrant and robust business for the state of Nevada," says Adler.