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Nevada Officials Want Funds from Legal Cannabis DispensariesJoy Graves Salem-News.com
"We don’t want this to look like some Jerry Garcia smoking lounge, we want this to be a serious effort to dispense medicine" - Sen. Mark Hutchison, R-Las Vegas,
(RENO) - In the state best known for it's gambling, quick marriages, cheap food, almost free alcohol, prostitution and other "sins" as providing the primary source of tax revenue filling their state funds, Nevada lawmakers are seriously working toward the passing of a potentially lucrative bill that would allow for the implementation of a "statewide medical cannabis dispensary system" because statistics show time and again that there's far more "profit" to be had in cannabis sales above most money making opportunities currently utilized throughout the nation and predominantly exploited in there state specifically.
Advocates for medical cannabis state that Nevada could bring in and estimated $10 million to $30 million per year for state coffers if lawmakers approve a bill to create a dispensary system. "This potentially could be a huge money maker for the state," said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, the sponsor of Senate Bill 374.
As many may know, the state of Nevada has implemented the possession & usage of medical cannabis into a constitutional right within their state, which was approved by voters in their 1998 & 2000 elections. The state constitution directs the Legislature to make cannabis available to medical patients in Nevada period. The problem however, is the fact that the now Nevada constitutional law doesn’t address any safe access points for patients to obtain their medicine which is becoming the problem for residents whom use cannabis medicinally.
In 2001 the Nevada Legislators decided to pass an additional law that would allow authorized medical cannabis patients to grow as many as seven plants each, but District Judge Don Mosley ruled last year that the law was unconstitutional because it did not provide many patients a reasonable way to acquire the cannabis other than by cultivating it themselves.
Nevada currently have an estimated 3,785 medical cannabis patients throughout the state, but still no real established system of cannabis "regulation" or distribution for patients in need whom cannot grow their own. According to state statistics, the majority of Nevadans qualified and now partaking in the state-run program primarily stems from them suffering severe pain complaints. The statistics further reflect that the cannabis patients utilizing the state law as being over the age of 40 on average.
Legislators in Nevada have since focused their efforts on crafting a safe, secure and well-regulated system, stressing that the bill would not allow just anyone to obtain a card or run a dispensary, and their result is called SB 374.
"We don’t want this to look like some Jerry Garcia smoking lounge, we want this to be a serious effort to dispense medicine." said Sen. Mark Hutchison, R-Las Vegas,
According to the text of SB 374, the licensing and regulations regarding cannabis dispensing would be handled by the state’s Health Division. Dispensary operators would have the option of being either a "for -profit", or a "non-profit" business establishment, which Hutchison said allows law enforcement to better monitor their activities. Of course too, as seen in California with renoun patrons like Steven Deangelo who blazed the dispensary protections legally for the first time ever in the nation, Feds tend to use such filings to nail dispensaries for tax issues, insisting what they're doing is illegal enough to close them down yet insist they give uncle Sam his cut of their profits as well - hypocrisy at it's finest if you ask this reporter!
SB 374 will set business license fees across Nevada state at $20,000 to open a dispensary and $5,000 to renew a license annually. The bill also requires proof of $150,000 of liquid assets from each prospective dispensary owner, which could prove to be an obstacle as most banks across the nation tend to not lend "capitol" to potential cannabis dispensaries because the plant is still -illegal under federal law, so private lending may be the course for most "canna-business" prospectors in Nevada to go.
What this means, is that places like Clark County, would be able to have up to 40 dispensaries in operation while other counties would be allowed up to 10 dispensaries such as in Washoe County, in addition to providing one dispensary for each rural County in the state of Nevada as well.
"All of these business people know very well that this is a federal offense," Hutchison said. "At any time the federal government can come in and shut you down and there’s nothing the state of Nevada can do about it." If they're willing to take such a risk, why should the state of Nevada not profit from it while they can, right, so many other states are in one way or another after all!
Hutchison also said an amendment will be added to eliminate the current home grow sanctioned at the way for patients obtaining cannabis as was passed by voters for medicinal users to have the ability to do in order to attain medicine free, another change state law enforcement officials supported that the cannabis community should not.
As written, SB 374 would remove the right of patients to grow their own cannabis and NOT offer an alternative other than by purchasing via dispensary business. Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, backed the bill but said he was concerned about removal of the grow-your-own language. He said some of his constituents cannot afford the expected $400-an-ounce cost.
Nothing in SB 374 addresses whom if not the patients would be legally allowed to cultivate and produce the medicine, only that medicinal cannabis would have to be transacted through a state sanctioned dispensary, which raises some questions in we the medical cannabis user/consumers minds. All SB 374 addresses and defines is rules and regulations for the dispensaries themselves - which is interesting to this reporter since without obtaining medicine cultivated somewhere, there would be no need for any store-front dispensary businesses at all, much-less be generating any income for anyone including the state!
Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, then drew up the dispensary bill, saying he wants the Assembly to put that back in, and to give "only existing patients the right to grow cannabis in Nevada" alone, something I'm sure will find in future debates before anything is finalized as state law, especially as canna-business progresses as an income to the state revenue. Nevada's Senate Finance Committee approved SB 374 unanimously in April with a 3-0 vote, after it had passed their Senate Judiciary Committee also with a unanimous vote tally as well.
Despite some senators expressing reservations, such as Governor Brian Sandoval, whom ultimately agreed "as long as it is prescribed by a physician," that he even he would have no issue with signing SB 374. Recent studies have proven Americans overall are feeling the same way, they want cannabis legalized for the sick as well as beyond as they begin to learn the truth and facts about the plants wonders and benefits to be had globally.
Getting their minds open has always been the trick thanks to decades of propaganda, but as people listen, research and learn for themselves, they quickly see the medical benefits of this herb as well as it's other endless resource offerings economically as well as globally and environmentally, therefore, support is increasing daily which in turn is furthering the liberation of cannabis across the nation at a high rated speed, and burning the federal government's ass-hairs as we prove our points and win their war on our plant, and toking as we do! As the late great "Hemperor" Jack Herer said it best "It's preventative medicine, and you shouldn't have to wait to get sick and be deemed terminal before you are given acess to use cannabis, you should be using it so you don't end up sick or terminal... it's Preventative Medicine, what's wrong with people!"
SB 374 has passed the second to last hurdle with a 17 – 4 vote, the bill now goes before the full Senate for its third and final reading and vote.
Joy Maxine Graves, published author, cannabis reporter and photographer is best known for her involvement as a Cannabis Freedom Fighting Activist. Joy has shown herself to be quite the trooper when it comes to fighting for as well as defending Truth, Justice & Honor, for protecting the "weaker guy", and for standing her ground when faced with nothing but hate and diversity. As the #2 most beloved personal "Jack's Girl" to the Emperor of Hemp himself (Jack Herer, RIP) for more than 13 years, which is how Salem-News.com encountered her by the way, we soon-after couldn't help but to noticed her flare for photography as well as her knack with people, and she has become a valuable part of the Salem-News team.
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