Pubdate: Thu, 10 Jul 2014
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Copyright: 2014, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Brendan Trainor


Nevada's implementation of the law requiring medical marijuana 
establishment (MME) licensing is so far plagued by hidden financing, 
proxy companies, questionable campaign contributions and forbidden 
crossovers between gambling licensees and dispensary ownership in 
Clark County. The problem is that the state has capped the number of 
dispensaries by county, has required enormous capital to apply, and 
the licenses are awarded by politicians. What could possibly go wrong?

When the state artificially creates a market, rather than markets 
creating themselves, there will be corruption. When the number of 
legalized outlets is capped by government, and only government can 
approve new applications, the opportunity for start up competition is 
capped as well. Without competition, there will be a few entrenched 
special interests who will dominate the industry. Nevada promised 
transparency in the selection process, but so far the process has been opaque.

Even an inefficient or corrupt process is better than prohibition. 
The elephant in the room is the federal government, which is 
demanding heavy regulation in marijuana states or else it will turn 
loose the DEA. That is what happened in California. California's 
experiment with medical marijuana was decentralized and largely 
unregulated. Different localities had different rules, and very pot 
friendly jurisdictions like Oakland began talking about 
city-sanctioned large indoor grow rooms. The result was a series of 
federal raids and confiscation of bank accounts that crippled many 
California green gold rush dispensaries. Sacramento's response was to 
write new regulations, but they still do not provide state support 
for local dispensaries or provide statewide legal protections for 
cannabis workers. In Congress Republican Sen. Rand Paul and 
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker have introduced a bill that would defund 
the DEA's ability to harass states where medical marijuana is legal.

This November, Alaska and Oregon may vote to join Washington state 
and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. Washington's 
experiment has been criticized for being overly regulated, while more 
libertarian Colorado is characterized as too commercial. Both states 
are hoping that their regulations will keep the federal government at 
bay. Colorado's model has been a financial success and has brought in 
significant tax revenues. Denver's regulations ban smoking cannabis 
either in the pot stores or in restaurants. This has led many pot 
tourists to purchase a lot of edible cannabis.

Edible marijuana usually takes an hour to be effective and 
inexperienced users may think it's not working and consume too much. 
Even though instructed by the budtender to divide a cannabis cookie 
into six pieces, a young Wyoming student ingested far to much. This 
young man tragically became disoriented and fell to his death from a 
hotel balcony. Another death possibly linked to an edible cannabis 
reaction combined with a bump in cannabis-related emergency room 
admissions have not led to talk in Colorado about any bans, only 
requiring warning symbols for edible packaging and to a debate over 
relaxing Denver's public smoking ban. Legalization works!

Nevada State Sen. Tick Segerblom helped finalize the state 
regulations on MMEs just this March, and he told Nevada counties and 
cities to "get off their butts" and issue their own regulations.

Applications for Northern Nevada MMEs and related businesses will be 
accepted from Aug. 5 through Aug. 18. The form can be downloaded from 
the Nevada website.

On May 27, Segerblom announced support for an initiative drive to 
fully legalize marijuana in Nevada for the 2016 election. If it 
qualifies for the ballot and passes, it will be another victory for 
freedom. Freedom is the best way to ensure quality, safety and low 
costs in the new cannabis industry.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom