Nevada liquor lobby battles medical marijuana distributors with July 1 sales start at risk
A judge won’t throw out a lawsuit from a powerful liquor lobby that wants a piece of Nevada’s new recreational marijuana industry.
A group of independent liquor wholesalers say the ballot measure that voters approved last November legalizing recreational pot makes it clear they’re the only ones that can distribute the product for retail sales scheduled to begin July 1.
State lawyers tried to persuade Carson City District Judge James Wilson on Tuesday to dismiss the lawsuit and allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to serve as their own middlemen in recreational sales.
Wilson refused. He left in place an order he issued May 30 that blocks any licensing until he holds a daylong hearing next Monday.
Senate and Assembly amend bill that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana
A bill recently amended in both the Senate and Assembly this week would essentially decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in New York state.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (S.3040-a/A.3506-a) decriminalize possession of up to two pounds of marijuana as well as the private cultivation of up to six plants. The bill would also allow for the establishment of a legal marketplace for marijuana products in New York state.
The bill removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allows for its regulation by the State Liquor Authority, similar to the way in which tobacco or alcohol is managed.
“We have outdated laws in New York state that are hurting real people, real families,” said Senator Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan. “We have legal tobacco, and that kills you. We have legal alcohol which also can kill you. And yet marijuana which is far less dangerous than either of those products, kills you if we send you to jail.”
“Our laws are so antiquated, and the people of New York state are with us,” added Krueger. “If this was a referendum state, we would probably already have legal marijuana.”