Marijuana took center stage at legislative session

LAS VEGAS - The 2017 legislative session, also called by many the "marijuana session," just ended, and lawmakers introduced over a dozen marijuana-related bills.  Roughly a third of them are likely to become law.

Last November, voters approved recreational pot last, so during this legislative session, lawmakers scrambled to regulate the budding industry.

Senate Bill 344, one of the most high-profile bills to pass had unanimous support from lawmakers.
   
SB 344 would mandate childproof packaging for marijuana edibles, as well as add restrictions to shapes and other ways cannabis-infused candies and baked goods or presented.  It's done to make them less enticing and accessible to children.
   
Governor Brian Sandoval, R-NV, is expected to sign the bill into law.
  
During the legislative session, the DUI was also updated.  The law now mandates blood testing for THC content in the blood.
   
Assembly Bill 422 moves the regulation of the state's marijuana programs into the department of taxation.  A bill that adds a 10 percent tax on top of the existing 15 percent tax on recreational marijuana passed with the money going toward the state's rainy day fund.
  
AB 422 also raises the excise tax on medical marijuana from 2 percent to 15 percent.  Governor Sandoval says he will sign the bill.

State Senator Tick Segerblom, the father of the state's marijuana programs, spoke to 8 News NOW to get his thoughts on the marijuana votes.

"Well, the big one is combining the two things, getting the governor's 10 percent tax, Segerblom said.  "Then we have the edibles thing too -- Senator Farley's bill.  But everything was just positive."

A bill that failed on the cannabis front in the legislature is a bill that would vacate marijuana-related convictions in the past that are now legal under the new law.  For example, possession of up to an ounce of weed did not make the cut.

Several modifications to the tax structure also died, and lawmakers passed two other bills, one that would have prohibited certain licensing boards from disciplining employees who use medical marijuana, and another that outlaws the use of cannabis-infused oils in massages, but the governor vetoed them.

Another bill vetoed is one that would have allowed medical marijuana establishments to offer apprenticeship programs.


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