Nevada judge rules State Pharmacy Board’s marijuana planning unconstitutional as regulators prepare to approve consumer lounge licenses

Nevada saw two significant marijuana policy developments on Wednesday, with a judge ruling that the Board of Pharmacy’s classification of the drug as a Schedule I substance violates the state’s Constitution – a ruling which comes as regulators separately announced that they will soon begin accepting applications for the site’s consumer lounge over-licenses.

The ACLU of Nevada filed a lawsuit earlier this year, alleging that despite voter-approved legalization, police continued to make marijuana-related arrests because the Board of Pharmacy refused to remove cannabis from its list of controlled substances. This effectively created a legal “loophole” that the civil rights group says conflicts with longstanding constitutional protections for medical marijuana patients.

On Wednesday, Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy ruled that the council’s appointment actually violated the state Constitution, although he is still Reserve judgment on whether the government agency has regulatory authority over marijuana until both parties submit draft orders for it to consider on this issue.

“Medical use or value is enshrined in our Constitution,” the judge said, according to ACLU NV. “It is clear to me that this is correct.”

The board attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, but Hardy denied that motion in July.

ACLU NV represents the Cannabis Equity and Inclusion Community (CEIC) and Antoinette Poole, a Nevada resident who was convicted of a Class E felony for possession of cannabis in 2017.

The organization argues that the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana through voter-approved ballot initiatives places regulatory authority over marijuana under the jurisdiction of the Cannabis Compliance Council (CCB) of the United States. – and the Pharmacy Board’s refusal to declassify marijuana has led to unconstitutional lawsuits.

Further emphasizing the regulatory disconnect, CCB Wednesday separately Published a notice of intent that it will accept applications for adult marijuana parlor licenses beginning Oct. 14. There will be a 10 business day window for potential licensees to submit their applications.

Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed a bill last year to create the type of marijuana license, which should be a boon to the state’s tourism industry. The governor touted the Cannabis Parlor Act in a 4/20 op-ed for Marijuana Moment this year, writing that “the idea isn’t new, but no one is doing it like we are in Nevada.”

Admittedly, the marijuana market in Nevada is booming, with the state reporting late last year that retailers had sold more than $1 billion worth of medical and recreational marijuana over a period of time. one year.

Ten percent of tax revenue from recreational cannabis sales will support funding for public education, as mandated by a bill Sisolak previously signed into law.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters by pledging at least $25/month, access our interactive maps, charts, and audience calendar so they don’t miss a thing.

Learn more about our Marijuana Bill Tracker and become a support on Patreon to gain access.

There is little doubt about the Sisolak administration’s stance on cannabis policy, regardless of the reported recalcitrance of the state Board of Pharmacy.

The governor is committed to promoting fairness and justice in state marijuana law. In 2020, for example, he pardoned more than 15,000 people convicted of low-dose cannabis possession. This action was made possible by a resolution introduced by the Governor and unanimously approved by the state’s Board of Pardons Commissioners.

Meanwhile, in August 2021, a former Las Vegas police officer who sued after being fired for testing positive for marijuana won a significant procedural victory as a district judge denied the petitioner’s motion for summary judgment. department and agreed that state law protects employees’ lawful use of cannabis outside of work.

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Photo courtesy of Martin Alonso.

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