Nevada has gone through many amendments in its marijuana laws since the full legalization of marijuana. The latest amendment is the addition of Assembly Bill 533 in the legislation.
The Governor of state signed the bill a few days ago. According to the bill, the local administrative bodies in Nevada will not be allowed to license cannabis for social usage in business. The bill also directed towards the formation of a CCB – Cannabis Compliance Board.
Additionally, employers belonging to the state will have no right to not to give jobs to people based on a positive cannabis test. The law will come into action the next year, making it the only US state to have a law of such kind.
Employers followed the controlled drug list prior to the amendment
In the past, people had to undergo drug screening tests before employers hired for a certain job. The drugs included all those listed in the controlled substance list by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The list also still includes cannabis, which is a hot topic among many sectors, sports being one of them. The situation has changed for Nevada, as the recent amendments have shown flexibility in terms of hiring employees for different jobs. The Compliance Board, however, comes with certain reservations.
The law was not unanimous
The law does not apply to all jobs unanimously. Technical jobs and jobs demanding precision are excluded from the law. For instance, vehicle operating jobs, firefighting, and all other jobs critical for the safety of the general public are not going to have any leniency in terms of hiring new employees for the job.
Moreover, the new law also states that if in any case, the recruiters are aiming for a screening test, then the individual under question holds a legal right to opt for other screening tests for the confutation of the test result. The hiring side will have to accede to the rules.
The law is a good call for employment rates in the state of Nevada
This will ultimately decrease the chance of association between cannabis legalization and unemployment in the state. The bill will not only ensure employment opportunities but also secures public safety regulatory measures. Marijuana for recreational purposes was officially made available two years ago in the state.
Similar happened in New York City, NY when the city council approved a similar bill that also ceased the condition of not hiring new employees if they showed positive test results. However, on full legalization of cannabis in Maine for recreational use, there is no proper law lifting the ban even though the authorities have not allowed the employers to let the consumption hinder in the employment process.
What reservations does the Compliance Board have about cannabis for social use?
The Compliance Board would be off-setting cannabis provision for social usage in mid-year of 2021. The council vote of its capital Los Vegas, however, could be a ray of hope for creating business opportunities in the city with the increment in the revenue for legal retailers.
The first batch permitted for the “social usage” would have been these retailers in the first year of the application. Until the state government permits, the authorities will not be licensing businesses relating to marijuana consumption.
It would create a backlash for the industry in the time when it is just at the point of budding. However, at the moment, the state government will be prioritizing lawful regulation of for businesses for social use.
Investigation on illegal supply of Cannabis, $2.5m worth of assets seized
Properties, cash, and bank accounts worth more than $2.5 million have been seized by the police after a wave of raids in Christchurch following an investigation on illegal cannabis.
Five people were arrested on Wednesday as police searched nine properties during the cannabis bust in Christchurch. Police also restrained 200 cannabis plants, jet skis, a military-style semi-automatic rifle, vehicles, and both residential and commercial properties.
In a statement, police said that the search warrants were issued by Canterbury Police’s organised crime and asset recovery units as a result of an investigation being made into money laundering and supply of cannabis.
As a result, police were able to arrest five people, all of which were involved in either drug supply and cultivation, unlawful possession of firearms, or money laundering.
As reported by stuff, The arrests included a 48-year-old man charged with cultivating and selling cannabis, and importing a Class A controlled drug. He is scheduled to appear in front of Christchurch District Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Among the rest of the arrests there were three men and one woman. They’re to appear in front of the court next Tuesday.
The male arrests include – a 28-year-old charged with cultivating cannabis, unlawful possession of a firearm, and selling cannabis, a 23-year-old charged with possession of cannabis for supply and cultivating cannabis, a 29-year-old charged with cultivating cannabis, selling cannabis, supplying equipment to cultivate cannabis, and money laundering.
The female arrested is a 46-year-old charged with money laundering and supplying equipment to cultivate cannabis.
Police encourage anyone with any information regarding possession, sale, or supply of illegal substances to contact them on 105 or anonymously call crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Coronavirus – Cannabis Legalization in 2020
Entering 2020, strategy makers in 8 states have shown support for controlled medicinal and recreational cannabis sales. Advocacy groups in 9 states had ongoing works for the inclusion of legalization on ballots in November. Cannabis is already legalized in 33 states for medical use, and 11 states for recreational use and medical use both. Furthermore, more members of Congress, with the inclusion of those who earlier argued legalization, are now in second of cannabis policy. Consequently, all of this le to the state legalization agendas moving forward.
However, although 2020 was to be a banner year for the cannabis industry, the pandemic has slowed down the efforts. Nevertheless, during the pandemic, licensed and controlled cannabis businesses were shown as “essential businesses“, despite the delay of state legislative activity by 2021 or later.
The pandemic has caused reprioritization and shortening of several states’ legislative gatherings. This is done by excluding time to hammer out the essential aspects of cannabis legalization laws. The laws include the establishment of a strong tax formation and the agreement for the reduction in the illegal market. Currently, at least 5 state legislatures that acknowledged the legalization of cannabis in 2020, including New York, have shown uncertainties regarding the implementation of it this year.
Advocacy groups in Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Nebraska, discontinued their attempts to collect ballot signatures due to the social distancing measures. A country district judge in Montana ruled against the practice of e-signatures to replace in-person signing.
Furthermore, cannabis legalization measures are usually focused upon on ballots during presidential election years, when the voter assembly is higher. Hence, legalization with the help of vote efforts can likely be postponed to 2024.
The effects of the pandemic have both, advantages and disadvantages, for the cannabis industry. Some cannabis businesses have cut jobs, sold operations, and are unable to operate due to the restrictions by the social distancing measures. These businesses are qualified for federal stimulus funds. On the other hand, other cannabis businesses have continued hiring of new employees, across 6 states, ever since the pandemic began.
In March, weekly trades hit $134 million in California, Washington, Nevada, and Colorado. This was a 17% rise from the weekly aggregate in 2019. Metrc‘s track-and-trace data recorded an approximately 75% rise in operation bandwidth usage following October 2019.
Despite the struggles due to the pandemic, cannabis businesses yet have the economic potential for states aiming for an improvement in revenues and news to fill resource shortfalls, that are expected to reach $350 billion in 2021. Cannabis tax revenue would not meet all damages, but would still aid states for the building of revenue in future years. Examples would be Colorado and California. Colorado collected over $1.2 billion in licensed cannabis revenue since 2014. Meanwhile, California generated $635 million in state and territorial tax revenues in 2019.
However, caution and patience are still recommended for states. The cannabis industry has worked in law enforcement for 20 years. The Director of Colorado’s Cannabis Enforcement Division during legalization has said that they acknowledge that new bill and command are to be taken seriously, irrespective of the economic condition of the state. Furthermore, it is essential to create an entirely new and controlled industry. This should involve agriculture, production, retail, the environment, common health, and cultural justice. However, this will all take ample time, strategic planning, and sufficient resources.
States are ready to enter in a strong, licensed cannabis market. However, patience is a virtue that will be much needed in order to focus on the accuracy of the details. State lawmakers, governors, cannabis businesses, and common interest groups, will need to take the support of this unprecedented break that the pandemic has caused, and outline these details in collaboration.
New Mexico – Governor in Favor of Legalization of Recreational Cannabis
Last week, the governor of New Mexico said that every opportunity for economic relief is necessary to be examined by the state. This included the legalization of cannabis.
Furthermore, on Wednesday, a two-hour live stream was conducted to update the citizens on the current coronavirus response struggles by the state. A reporter asked Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) as to whether she was in support of the legislature passing the legalization of recreational cannabis during a future special session.
The session would be aimed at the increase in tax revenue to balance the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19.
The governor joked saying to end it on a high note. She further added that the delays of several capital schemes wouldn’t likely have happened if the lawmakers had focused on the legalization. She was referencing this year’s annual session where she unsuccessfully recommended the lawmakers to legalize recreational cannabis.
She continued that the predictions are approximately $1oo million of recurring revenue into the resources from the legalization of cannabis. She said that if we are looking for economic support and economic aid, it is essential to explore every economic approach. She further explained how a significant majority o the New Mexicans are in favor of the legalization of recreational cannabis.
The governor’s remarks over cannabis are available in the video here, starting from 02:18;10.
The governor explained that there is still an opportunity. She continued to stress the fact that it is essential for policymakers to think clearly and expect the governor to support the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state, in the next election. She continued that there is a need to increase diversity in the economy along with an increase in opportunities for the recurring revenue.
The governor also stressed that it is essential to rebuild the economy after the dramatic damage caused by the public health emergency.
Last month, the governor made an alike debate. However, the governor also recognized the calculation of the $100 million revenue, which was issued last year by a functioning group that the governor created to examine the effect of legalization in 2019, would possibly have been impacted greatly by the pandemic. It is also essential to recognize that the $100 million figure is still an estimation of the combination of the tax revenue from the current medicinal cannabis industry and the additional tax revenue from the recreational cannabis sales. And all of this is after the recreational cannabis industry matures.
Additionally, a Senate panel declared a legalization bill earlier this year. On the other hand, it was declared only to be denied in another bill, right before the closing of the brief 30-day session. The session also specified that sales would have commenced on July 1. This would essentially imply that the state would be potentially unable for the successful compilation of the much-needed revenue in the middle of the health crisis unless any emergency action was taken.
The legalization of recreational cannabis did not go as intended during the annual legislative assembly of New Mexico. However, the governor reportedly said in February that she has no issue in allowing the voters to potentially decide on the shift in policy via a ballot referendum.
When the governor was questioned about whether the legalization of recreational cannabis should be continued during the particular session in June or not, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham chose not to respond to that question immediately. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the governor’s office had reportedly said that it is highly unlikely that reform move regarding the legalization of recreational cannabis would occur during the window of the particular session in June.
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