Legal Predictions for the 2019 Marijuana Industry – Nevada Business Magazine

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” —Nils Bohr, physicist and Nobel laureate

By Alicia Ashcraft, Managing Partner, Ashcraft & Barr

In last year’s “Legal Opinions” section of Nevada Business Magazine, we made three predictions about Nevada’s marijuana industry. We re-visit those predictions in this article to see how well our prognostication powers fared.

Prediction No. 1: More publicly traded Canadian Investors

Last year, we predicted that the Nevada marijuana market would see an influx in publicly-traded Canadian investments. This forecast has come to fruition with a rush of public companies trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange acquiring Nevada marijuana businesses in 2018. Prediction Grade: A+

2018 Prediction No. 2: Tighter Regulatory Control

Last year, we foresaw tighter regulatory control of Nevada’s marijuana industry as the regulators moved to the Department of Taxation. This one also came true. The Department of Taxation has begun exceptionally robust regulation of the industry. Prediction Grade: A+

2018 Prediction No. 3: More Entrepreneurial Opportunities

We forecasted more indirect entrepreneurial opportunities for those in the marijuana space—opportunities like security services, delivery services, and software development. This prediction faltered a bit. Entrepreneurial opportunities still exist around the cannabis industry, but there has not been a revolutionary proliferation. Prediction Grade: B-

Because we have not learned our lesson from last year’s forecasts, we make some new, legal predictions for 2019.

2019 Prediction No. 1: Cannabis Control Commission

Currently, marijuana in Nevada is regulated by the Department of Taxation. The Department of Taxation is a “generalist” department, not geared toward regulating any one, particular industry. Marijuana is an esoteric subject. A maturing and growing industry demands more specialized regulators. Thus, in the 2019 Legislative Session, we predict that the Nevada Legislature will consider creating an independent commission to regulate cannabis. This type of structure would

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