Nevada Marijuana News

Draft recommendations developed by a citizen’s group for a new Nevada County marijuana ordinance call for allowing personal outdoor grows in single-family zones, commercial grows of up to 10,000 square feet in certain zones and brick-and-mortar dispensaries in limited commercial areas.

The draft recommendations, released Friday, set the stage for a 1:30 p.m. Tuesday discussion of the community advisory group — the citizen’s panel that developed the recommendations. Panelists will review their recommendations before they advance to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 9 meeting.

County staff will use recommendations approved by supervisors to craft the new cannabis ordinance, which likely won’t be prepared until spring.

The recommendations call for allowing outdoor grows of up to three plants for personal use in single-family and residential agriculture zones, if the parcel is under an acre. Up to six plants would be allowed if the parcel is larger than an acre.

Up to six plants for personal use could be outdoors in general agriculture, exclusive agriculture, forest and timberland preserve zones.

Plants must be at least 30 feet from the property line and not visible by neighbors.

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The state allows property owners up to six indoor plants. Local governments can regulate those plants, but can’t outright forbid them.

Under the draft recommendations commercial cultivation could occur in specific zones, if parcel size and permitting requirements are met.

Specialty cottage — 25 plants outdoors or 500 square feet indoors — and specialty — 5,000 square feet/50 plants outdoors or 501 to 5,000 square feet indoors — commercial grows could occur in general agriculture, exclusive agriculture, forest, timberland preserve and residential agriculture zones.

Small grows — 5,001 to 10,000 square feet indoors and outdoors — could be in the same zones.

Outdoor specialty cottage grows

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A panel charged with helping shape the state’s new medical marijuana law met in Morgantown Thursday, Dec. 14. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Medical Cannabis Advisory Board heard from guest speakers and announced the results of a recent survey.

One speaker was Pennsylvania state Senator Mike Folmer, who told the board about his state’s progress in bringing the drug to patients there. Folmer led efforts in Pennsylvania to pass a similar medical cannabis bill and identified himself as a “conservative Republican” and a cancer survivor.

The board also heard survey results from potential medical cannabis patients, physicians and others about various issues related to the implementation of the law.

The survey took a look at demographics of those who are interested in medical cannabis, as well as various medical ailments for which they may seek treatment. Of the 6,174 responses, 4,033 identified themselves as “a patient with a serious medical condition” and 1,813 said they had a family member with a serious medical condition. 364 respondents identified as a caregiver, while 611 specified their interest in medical cannabis as “other.”

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Officials in Lander County approved an ordinance to allow for licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities.

During their meeting yesterday, the board approved an ordinance which states cultivation facilities are now allowed within certain zoning districts of the central Nevada county.

The move follows the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state which began on July 1.

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The Nevada City Council confirmed its selection of Elevation 2477′ as the city’s first medical cannabis dispensary Wednesday, much to the dismay of Mayor Duane Strawser and Council Member Reinette Senum.

“I encourage a grand jury investigation,” Senum said. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

Controversy ensued, resulting in the city council’s decision to amend Nevada City’s marijuana laws and allow three dispensaries rather than just one — a move that will need further approval in the coming months.

In November, council members voted 3-2 to award the city’s first dispensary license to Elevation 2477′, which was selected from a pool of three candidates. Given the opportunity Wednesday to amend that choice, the council stuck by its decision.

But Strawser and Senum, who voted last month for one of the other two dispensary candidates, Growing Community, expressed disappointment in the majority’s choice and the way it was made.

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Strawser and Senum made a push to revisit the decision Wednesday, saying they’d like to take time to discuss whether the city followed the selection process it adopted, but the city’s attorney, Hal Degraw, said that was only possible if one of the three council members who voted for Elevation was willing to bring back the discussion.

“We’re not revisiting the process, because I do not believe the three of us that voted for it are willing to go back and start this process again,” said Council Member Evans Phelps.

The council again voted 3-2, with Senum and Strawser opposed, affirming the decision to award Elevation a license.

“I’m sorry folks. I don’t feel good about this, but it is what it is,” Strawser said, addressing the audience at Wednesday’s city council meeting. “The folks at this table are voted in by you and they’re here

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Attorney Heather L. Burke will discuss the intricacies of 2018 California cannabis law in a seminar scheduled for noon on Jan. 16 in the law library at the Nevada County Superior Court in Nevada City.

The presentation will consist of an update on California cannabis law, including the Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. She will also discuss newly enacted regulations by three state licensing agencies — the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Food and Agriculture. Burke will also boil down the newly formed regulatory framework for cannabis production and distribution into an overview of main points for 2018. The seminar is open to attorneys and the general public. Attorneys will receive one hour of MCLE credit.

Burke is a partner with Greenspoon Marder’s Cannabis Law practice group. After graduating from California Western School of Law in 2009, she began her career by working closely with several renowned California medical marijuana attorneys, who mentored her in the aggressive state and federal representation of medical cannabis patients and cultivators throughout California.

Eventually opening her own practice in Nevada City, she has worked on numerous precedent setting cases, including a five-day evidentiary hearing regarding cannabis’ Schedule I status in U.S. v. Pickard in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District. Burke also co-drafted a proposed initiative for California cannabis legalization in 2016, entitled The California Craft Cannabis Initiative.

In 2014, she was awarded NORML’s John Mark Flowers Scholar. The following year, she was named one of Skunk Magazine’s Women of Weed for 2015. Burke is also a regular speaker and panelist at cannabis conferences throughout California. She pens a popular blog about legal issues affecting cannabis cultivators.

To enroll, call 530-265-7161 or email Law. [email protected]. Arrive by 11:45 a.m. to complete registration. The

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LAS VEGAS – Some surprising new numbers are out about the Silver State’s marijuana industry.

The Nevada Dispensary Association surveyed it’s members and now we’re getting a better picture of how big the industry is beyond just looking at sales and tax revenues.

State lawmakers from across the U.S. are in Las Vegas for the annual Council of State Governments convention at Mandalay Bay.

The focus of one large session Thursday was how to develop marijuana policies. Based on some of the new statistics about Nevada’s industry, we’re proving to be a model state.

Nevada has come a long way since medical marijuana sales began in July 2015. Currently, there are 273 marijuana businesses in Nevada employing over 6,700 people.

With sales and tax revenue exceeding projections, it appears the cannabis industry is here to stay.

“There are a lot of taxes coming into the state, but we’re also seeing there are extremely high regulatory costs and operational costs,” said Riana Durrett, exec. director, Nevada Dispensary Association.

Durrett says while a lot of money is coming into businesses, it’s also being paid out.

“This isn’t a market where people are making money hand over fist like people from the outside think that they are.”

As a whole, the industry spends about $1.8 million on security each month. Utilities comes out to nearly $1.3 million.

But the biggest cost, as in many businesses, is employees. The average wage is $19.28 an hour, more than double the state’s $8.25 an hour minimum wage. And it’s a diverse workforce — about 47 percent minority and 53 percent non-minority.

Durrett presented the numbers in front of lawmakers from other states like Maine state Senator Roger Katz who are looking for guidance as voters legalize marijuana in more states.

“Nevada is different from Maine in many, many ways, but the issues about legalization of marijuana, they’re really the same,” said Sen. Katz.

He sees events like this

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The number of teens abusing drugs is lower than it’s been since the 1990s, according to a national survey.

“In particular, we see a tremendous decline in the portion of young people using cigarettes,” Dr. Lloyd Johnson, a study researcher at the University of Michigan, said at a press conference on Thursday. “The changes we’re seeing are very large and very important.”

But there are a couple of key exceptions. “[One] is marijuana. It hasn’t gone up, like in older populations, but it hasn’t gone down, and it remains worrisome,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funds the survey. “Another concern is we see very high and very fast uptake of electronic vaping devices.”

The survey, called Monitoring the Future, and conducted by the University of Michigan, has asked roughly 50,000 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade students every year since 1991 about drugs and sex and attitudes on subjects ranging from race and ethnicity to career plans.

Last year, 1 out of every 3 high school seniors used a vape or e-cigarette, and 1 out of 6 high school seniors used a vape in the last month. Roughly 10 percent of high school seniors reported intentionally vaping nicotine, but many teens surveyed seemed unsure whether or not they were using a product with the drug. “Teens endorse that they don’t really know what they are vaping. They may think they have just a strawberry flavor, and it may be mixed with nicotine,” Volkow says.

Support comes from

That’s particularly worrying to public health groups and officials. “The issue is nicotine is an addictive drug,” Volkow says. “And if you are vaping it and not realizing it, you’re still getting conditioned [to the drug]. That results in automatic wanting of the drug.” Teens might

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A man walks past an electric board showing exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (top L) at a cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul, South Korea December 13, 2017 REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The cannabis industry doesn’t have widespread access to banks, and conducting business with only cash has its risks. Many dispensary owners are excited about using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to solve this problem, but it’s not a miracle solution for a number of reasons. That hasn’t stopped cryptocurrencies from trying to elbow their way into the industry. 

The rapidly-growing cannabis industry has a cash problem, but dispensary owners around the country say cryptocurrency isn’t a miracle solution.

Most banks won’t take cannabis cash, so dispensaries in states where the sale of cannabis is legal have been forced to explore alternative payment solutions as they are locked out of even the most basic tools of doing business, like opening a checking account and accepting credit cards as payment.

That’s a huge problem for an industry that’s expected to hit $10 billion in sales this year and $24.5 billion by 2021. 

Cannabis dispensaries pay extremely high taxes 

Dispensaries often pay penalties for submitting taxes in cash, even though they are barred from opening lines of credit. And a section of the tax code prevents businesses that deal directly with cannabis, like dispensaries, from deducting legitimate business expenses.

It all adds up to cannabis companies paying an effective tax rate of 65 to 75%, according to the New Federalism Fund, a nonprofit organization advocating for the cannabis industry.

And there are obvious security risks — including theft and accounting fraud — that come with handling and storing large amounts of cash. 

A budtender weighs out marijuana for a customers at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Los Angeles. AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Bitcoin is

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Pot cafes, stoned yoga and painting while puffing could be just around the corner in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas officials are considering an ordinance proposed by Councilman Bob Coffin that would allow the city to license marijuana consumption lounges. The proposal comes months after the Nevada Legislature’s legal arm issued an opinion that nothing in state law prevents local municipalities from allowing such businesses.

On Wednesday during a public workshop about the ordinance, Assistant City Attorney Bryan Scott said lounges could be approved in March, which could put Las Vegas in the running for having the nation’s first government-regulated marijuana consumption lounges.

But Coffin says he’s not interested in being first.

“I’m not suggesting we rush into it,” he said in an interview after the workshop. “We’ll do it right.”

The ordinance, which Coffin said is being drafted and could change before the City Council votes on the issue, would allow for a variety of consumption-friendly businesses, such as restaurants in which patrons can smoke marijuana, yoga studios, coffee shops and even a smoking while painting class.

The lounges would not be allowed to have or serve any alcohol or to store marijuana on-site. Employees would not be allowed to work under the influence of marijuana or alcohol, city staff said.

The idea for the ordinance would roll out as a pilot program that would likely run for two years, with the regulations potentially being adopted as permanent after that period, officials said.

And the final language, as well as when the program could ultimately roll out, would be up to the City Council.

Issues to hash out

There could be some sticking points in the ordinance that could delay the process, some of which were brought up during Wednesday’s workshop.

Las Vegas lounges would be allowed to provide consumption

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SEATTLE, WA , Dec. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CFN Media Group (“CannabisFN”), the leading creative agency and media network dedicated to legal cannabis, announces publication of an article covering Friday Night Inc.’s (CSE: TGIF) (CNSX: TGIF) (TGIF.CN) (OTCQB: TGIFF) leadership position in the Nevada cannabis market and its plans to expand into other areas and geographies over the long-term.

Established in Las Vegas Market

The legal cannabis industry is projected to grow from $6.9 billion in 2016 to nearly $22 billion by 2021, according to ArcView Research, fueled by the legalization of medical and adult-use marijuana. Last November, Nevadans voted to legalize adult-use marijuana throughout the state, which has seen more than 35.7 million tourists so far this year. These tourists are largely focused on entertainment, which makes adult-use marijuana a natural upsell.

Friday Night owns 91% of Alternative Medicine Association (AMA), which has a facility designed for cannabis cultivation and production. AMA was the very first cannabis cultivator licensed in Las Vegas and has developed a leading brand there. Last year, the facility generated $1.1 million in sales and management anticipates $5 million in revenue this year.

AMA has a diverse product pipeline, including “Vegas J’s” famous pre-rolls brand and strains with the highest THC percentages in the state. The company also offers high quality lines of various extracts, created by some of the best talent in the business. AMA is also the official Nevada producer of The Real Kurupt’s Moonrocks, Vader Extracts, Spectrum Concentrates, Mari and has several other exclusive production agreements.

Friday Night has also recently closed on a Land Purchase Acquisition in Nevada for 1.39 acres of land in unincorporated Clark County. The property is zoned M-1 (Light Manufacturing) and includes several site improvements including a 33,000 sq. ft. footprint for a building with footings already poured and in

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