CANNABIS

With the upper echelons of Nevada’s cannabis industry skewing largely white and male, lawmakers passed a bill, AB341, to authorize marijuana consumption lounges that could bring a diverse set of new entrepreneurs into the field as well as solve the problem that public consumption is unlawful outside a private residence. It earmarks at least 10 lounge licenses for “social equity applicants” who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs, and allows the Cannabis Compliance Board to discount fees for those applicants by up to 75 percent.

A separate bill, AB322, would have allowed for events where cannabis consumption would be permitted, but it failed to clear its first house. 

Lawmakers passed AB400, a bill that removes “per se” limits on how much marijuana metabolite is allowed in a driver’s blood if they are facing a misdemeanor. Proponents say the limits are an inaccurate indicator of impairment, because they can still be detected in the body long after a high wears off because of how marijuana is processed by the body differently than alcohol.

The bill initially removed the per se limits entirely, but later restored them in cases when someone is accused of a felony. 

The Legislature also passed a bill, AB149, calling for a publicly available database displaying the results of testing by independent labs for cannabis products. 

Marijuana businesses that did not win dispensary permits in a contentious 2018 licensing round sought legislation to give them an alternate way to open more stores. But with trade groups such as the Nevada Dispensary Association objecting, a bill that might have done that, SB235, died.