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Nevada Lawmakers Consider Bill To Increase Marijuana Possession Limit And Remove Barriers To Industry Employment



“There’s no assumption that if I’m buying a 48-pack of beer, I must be doing something illicit with it afterwards.”

By Dana Gentry, Nevada Current

Lawmakers in Carson City are considering a measure that would more than double the amount of cannabis recreational users can possess and dispensaries can sell at one time. It would also eliminate a blanket ban on employment in the industry for certain people with felony convictions and give regulators discretion on their applications.

“At some point you’ve served your time,” Democratic Sen. Dallas Harris told the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Monday, adding the inability of people with felony convictions to find work often commits “them to another life of crime.”

Democratic Sen. Melanie Scheible noted current law does not prohibit all people with felony convictions from employment, but only those with the most serious charges, and those with more than one felony conviction. Scheible, a former prosecutor, noted drug offenses are often stacked, resulting in multiple convictions for a single event.

Tyler Klimas, executive director of the Cannabis Compliance Board, said of the 40,000 work card applications processed in the last three years, 16 have been denied, and another 164 individuals canceled their applications after background checks prompted questions from regulators.

Harris noted it’s impossible to know how many people with felony convictions were dissuaded from applying for work cards because of the law’s restrictions.

Senate Bill 277 would allow all dispensaries to serve medical and recreational clients.

It would also permit adults, both recreational and medical users, to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, more than twice the current one ounce limit for recreational buyers, a threshold that prevents buyers from taking advantage of sales, like consumers of other products can.

By comparison, Oregon has a two-ounce limit on possessionRegistered patients can buy up to 24 ounces.

“There’s no assumption that if I’m buying a 48-pack of beer, I must be doing something illicit with it afterwards,” Harris said.

Testimony in opposition to the measure suggested a cannabis buyer can purchase multiple ounces by visiting more than one dispensary.

“Please do not do that,” Harris responded. “That is currently a felony…hence why we’re trying to up the possession limit and allow folks to be able to engage in that kind of bulk buying if they’d like, whether it be for medical reasons or for none of our damn business.”

Harris suggested the ability to take advantage of deals and stock up, is “going to make you less likely to try and go to the proverbial corner boy, so that you can get your two ounces because you don’t want to have to go back and shop over the next month.”

The committee took no action on the measure.

This story was first published by Nevada Current.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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