Marijuana Task Force Holds First Meeting - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Marijuana Task Force Holds First Meeting

Posted: Updated:

Nevadans have been able to use marijuana legally since January first, but regulations still have to be put into place before it can be sold legally, starting in 2018.  That is why Governor Brian Sandoval appointed nearly 20 people to the Governor's Task Force on the Implementation of Question 2.  The group includes stakeholders, law enforcement officials, regulators and lawmakers to find the best policies moving forward.  Deonne Contine is the Chair of the task force.

"This is a kind of way to kind of evaluate, look into what's been going on in the medical, look into what's been working and maybe what hasn't been working," Contine, Executive Director of the Department of Taxation said.

Friday, the members broke off into eight working groups.  They range from law enforcement, taxation and revenue, consumer safety, transport and storage, and four categories of operations.

"This is a very productive first meeting," Dr. John DiMuro, Nevada Chief Medial Officer said. "Obviously, a very ambitious agenda. I think we can meet that challenge. We have some very experienced people in the room and I think we'll be able to do it."

Public comment was heard, and some gave advice or showed concern for the short timeline of getting the regulations in place.  The Final Report is expected by July 1, but any statutory changes must go through the legislature.  The session ends June 6.

"Our timeline is about two months behind where Colorado was," Jim Hartman, Genoa resident said. "Let's not do a wild west 'ready, fire, aim' in getting this off the ground."

While the timeline may seem ambitious, members of the task force say they have a head start, saying Nevada has the best regulations for medical marijuana in the country.  Those regulations can be used on the recreational side.  They have also paid close attention to Washington and Colorado since they legalized recreational pot.

"We don't have to reinvent this wheel," Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City said. "We have medical industry, we have medical facts and I think you're going to see a lot of things that are going to be taken from other effective regulations elsewhere."

Sandoval is asking for a 10 percent excise tax on the sales of recreational marijuana.  Contine says putting in a tax and regulatory structure is an important part of the task force's job, but so is law enforcement and safety.

"How do we license those businesses? How do we make sure they're doing the right thing from a regulatory standpoint?" Contine said. "Then tie it in with that. What is the law enforcement role? What are the costs to law enforcement?"

"It affects, not only health but obviously the operations, taxation, distribution aspects," DiMuro said. "So many things that we have to address very quickly."

The group will look at possible unintended consequences that could arise from the regulations.

"We're gonna look at all the regulations we need to do to make marijuana legally available, safely, just like the voters said," Hardy said.

Members of the task force said safety is an important part of the regulations, not just for the industry, but for consumers and non-consumers, especially children.

"I think we'll be able to move forward very effectively and put some rationale and common sense legislation out of this," DiMuro said. "I think we have a significant foundation here for the future and we can build upon that quite easily."

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.