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Panel OKs Loan For Nevada Recreational Marijuana Regulation

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Panel OKs Loan For Nevada Recreational Marijuana Regulation

By SANDRA CHEREBREVIEW-JOURNAL

CARSON CITY — A legislative panel approved Thursday a nearly $900,000 loan to begin implementation of recreational marijuana sales, and authorized a separate money transfer for costs associated with a breach of Nevada’s medical pot system.

The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee approved the loan requested by the Department of Taxation to begin the process of writing regulations and setting up a regulatory structure to oversee cultivation, testing, processing and retail sales of recreational pot.

Voters approved the legalization of adult use of marijuana in November. The ballot initiative put the Taxation Department in charge of implementing it by next year. The loan from the IFC’s contingency fund will be paid back as sales generate tax revenues.

Taxation Director Deonne Contine told lawmakers the loan is necessary to hire staff and get the process rolling.

 “If we don’t start now, we’re not going to be ready by Jan. 1, 2018,” she said.

State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, and Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, voted against the expenditure, citing uncertainty in the administration of Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is opposed to legalization of marijuana, which is illegal under federal law.

“It wouldn’t be too hard if the federal government tried to shut this all down,” Kieckhefer said.

Members of the IFC also approved transferring $122,400 from a reserve account within the state’s medical marijuana program for costs associated with last month’s breach of its online portal.

Continue reading at reviewjournal.com

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