US Launch of Nevada's recreational pot sales may hinge on court

13:51  19 june  2017
13:51  19 june  2017 Source:   Associated Press

Nevada recreational pot pits liquor lobby, medical dealers

  Nevada recreational pot pits liquor lobby, medical dealers If Nevada officials have their way, tourists and residents alike will be smoking pot ahead of Independence Day. But before recreational marijuana launches in the state best known for slot machines and showgirls, a judge must decide who has the right to distribute what promises to be Nevada's newest cash crop.The powerful liquor lobby and state-regulated medical marijuana dealers are fighting over who should be licensed to distribute marijuana from growers to retailers. Nevada is the only legal pot state in which alcohol distributors were given the first shot at distribution licenses under the law that voters approved in November.

(AP) — Nevada ' s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada ’ s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

FILE- In this March 24, 2017 file photo, Nevada state Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, smells a sample of marijuana as Christopher Price, a ''budtender'' at the Blum medical marijuana dispensary, describes the operation during a brief tour a the store in Reno, Nev. Nevada voters legalized recreational marijuana in November, and officials are trying to put rules in place to start selling it on July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)© The Associated Press FILE- In this March 24, 2017 file photo, Nevada state Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, smells a sample of marijuana as Christopher Price, a ''budtender'' at the Blum medical marijuana dispensary, describes the operation during a brief tour a the store in Reno, Nev. Nevada voters legalized recreational marijuana in November, and officials are trying to put rules in place to start selling it on July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada's marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

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(AP) - Nevada ' s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada ’ s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

Lawyers for the liquor industry, marijuana retailers and the state are facing a judge Monday to argue whether Nevada has the authority to issue marijuana distribution licenses to anyone besides alcohol distributors.

The state says it has the power to temporarily license some existing medical marijuana cultivators and retailers to serve as their own middlemen. It wants to get a head-start on collecting millions of dollars in tax revenue devoted to education before permanent rules are required by Jan. 1, 2018.

The liquor lobby sued, saying the state didn't give it the first shot at distribution licenses as called for in the ballot measure approved by voters in November, the only legal pot state with that arrangement.

Carson City District Judge James Wilson blocked all licensing until the matter is resolved. He refused the state's request last week to dismiss the lawsuit.

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Nevada ' s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

Nevada ' s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

It's not clear if Wilson will rule immediately after Monday's hearing. But he told lawyers last week that it's "an important issue that needs to be resolved quickly."

In the meantime, state tax officials are doing everything they can to have the licenses ready to go as soon as they get the green light.

"We expect to issue licenses by July 1," Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told The Associated Press.

"We have a 'war room' in Vegas where our staff are working long hours to move the applications through the review process," she said. "We, of course, won't be issuing any distributor licenses to applicants that aren't liquor wholesalers while the restraining order is in place."

The law says alcohol distributors have exclusive rights to pot distribution licenses, unless the state determines there isn't enough interest to meet anticipated demand.

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Nevada ' s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

Nevada ' s marijuana regulators are working furiously to launch recreational sales on July 1, a fast-approaching deadline that could hinge on a court deciding whether the powerful liquor industry should be guaranteed a piece of the pot pie before tourists and residents can light up.

The tax department said there was "insufficient interest" among the liquor lobby when it published the proposed regulations. It later said that determination would be made after all applications were processed.

Of the 93 applications for distribution licenses, five are from liquor wholesalers and 88 are from existing medical marijuana establishments, Klapstein said.

Kevin Benson, a lawyer representing the alcohol distributors, said the tax officials may be under the false impression that they need dozens of distributors for the maximum 132 recreational retail stores allowed in Nevada.

"The five (alcohol distributors) who applied could probably serve the whole state," he said, estimating each serves an average of 200 alcohol retailers. "We don't want this delayed. We just want it to be fair. Our feeling is we'd like to see this get started as soon as possible."

Justices to review New Jersey bid for legal sports betting .
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Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/us/-60286-launch-of-nevadas-recreational-pot-sales-may-hinge-on-court/

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