Alcohol distributors fight to protect rights to transport marijuana

LAS VEGAS - Members of the alcohol industry and state marijuana regulators spent Monday squaring off in a Carson City courtroom over who can transport the marijuana that will be sold in retail stores from the growers to the stores.

Alcohol distributors who say the state is trying to squeeze them out of the marijuana industry, but the law voted on by voters in November is clear, and they're the only ones who can do that for the next 18 months.
  
So, are state marijuana regulators trying to pull a fast one on alcohol distributors?

"We want what the voters of Nevada voted for which was to include alcohol distributes to provide check and balance; to make sure things are on the up and up," said Allen Nassau, president, Red Rock Wines.

On Monday, the matter was heard in a courtroom in Carson City.  Alcohol distributors spent the day in court, trying to protect what they say is their exclusive right to transport recreational marijuana from growing facilities to dispensaries.
 
According to the distributors, the state tried to create an artificial shortage in the number of businesses applying to let other businesses get in on the action.  However, the director of the Nevada Department of Taxation Deonne Contine, the regulatory agency over the marijuana industry, says distributors have got it all wrong.
   
Contine says she has been pushing to get early marijuana sales up and running on time because the state budget is balanced on retail pot taxes.

"We couldn't operate this business and knowing that my task force says we need to get this up and running by July 1, I needed to kind of have a backup plan," Contine said.

Anywhere between 30 and 60 current medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to sell retail pot early, ahead of formal regulations that kick in on Jan. 1.

State Senator Tick Segerblom, the father of NNevada's Medical and Recreational Marijuana programs, says the two sides need to work it out.

In the meantime, Segerblom has proposed a compromise to get marijuana sales up and running for establishments that grow their own pot.

"Let the people who are vertically integrated go forward, at least to start with," Segerblom said.

Segerblom says a simple solution is to keep people from relying on the black market. The judge says he will issue a ruling Tuesday.

A total of 25 Clark County medical marijuana establishments is set to have its recreational sales permits passed on Wednesday.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • #OurPain
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Turkey-Thon
  • Vegas Strong 5K/1-Mile
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Politics Now
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Connect with 8 News NOW
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center