Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo recently signed a measure into law that makes a number of changes to the state’s marijuana legislation. The Republican governor signed the bill — State Bill 277 — on June 14, 2023.
The recently enacted legislation makes significant changes to Nevada’s cannabis laws. Notably, there will be a more than twofold increase in recreational cannabis purchase and possession limitations. One ounce of cannabis will now be replaced by 2.5 ounces as the maximum amount that one person may own or purchase. A quarter ounce will be the new maximum for cannabis concentrates, which will increase from one-eighth of an ounce currently.
Additionally, the legislation grants permission for all adult-use marijuana dispensaries in the state to sell their products to medical cannabis patients. However, starting next year, state marijuana regulators will no longer issue new licenses for medical cannabis businesses, except in areas where recreational marijuana dispensaries are prohibited.
SB 277 also relaxes Nevada’s prohibition on those with felony records working for or engaging in cannabis-related enterprises. The bill gives the Nevada Marijuana Compliance Board the authority to grant licenses to organizations whose stakeholders have a history of felony convictions.
Nevertheless, the board must determine whether issuing such permits would risk public health and safety or have a negative effect on the state’s cannabis sector. The board has the power to establish the required restrictions and requirements to protect the general welfare, prevent injury or death, and decrease any unfavorable consequences for the cannabis business.
Under the new law, individuals with prior marijuana-related felonies can petition the state to work in a licensed marijuana enterprise without the requirement of expunging their records. According to Vicente LLP’s law firm partner Meg Nash, these SB 277’s provisions reflect a fundamental principle of contemporary marijuana legalization plans.
Nevada’s new marijuana reform law also charges the state’s Cannabis Advisory Commission with undertaking research. The goal of the study is to investigate any potential repercussions of abolishing the federal prohibition of cannabis and delisting marijuana from Nevada’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
The act also mandates that state authorities consider any potential negative environmental effects of any proposed modifications to Nevada’s cannabis laws. If such unfavorable impacts are found, regulators must consider ways to reduce or eliminate those impacts without placing a financial burden on those who have licenses for adult-use or medical cannabis establishments.
The Nevada cannabis reform law will fully take effect on January 1, 2024, with some of the approved provisions taking effect right away.
It is expected that the increased possession limits will boost sales. That could, in turn, have positive knock-on effects upon the sales of ancillary entities such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) as well as those of marijuana companies.
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