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Governor: Nevada Casinos Need To Talk With The Marijuana Industry

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed an executive order on Wednesday directing the Gaming Policy Committee to discuss how casinos should work with the legal marijuana industry.

“Gaming regulators have been clear on the prohibition of marijuana consumption on licensed gaming properties, but there are additional policy considerations such as industry events and business relationships that should be contemplated,” said Sandoval, who is one of 12 members on the gaming committee.

He is not the only politician hoping that the two industries can form some sort of working relationship. Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, who is also a committee member, told the Reno Gazette-Journal:

“This is not about smoking marijuana at casinos, this is business. This is business conventions. This is money. This is where they can talk about insurance for dispensaries at a convention, or security. It’s one thing to sell marijuana at a casino, but it’s another to just talk business. Las Vegas could be the capital for these conventions, and Reno.”

Earlier this month, the Nevada Gaming Commission announced that it was illegal to consume cannabis in bars, casinos, hotels, and public places. So although marijuana is legal in the state, tourists and residents are having a difficult time to legally consume cannabis in places that aren’t their homes.

Casinos, which will continue to prohibit marijuana consumption on their properties, have been faced with a number of “grey area” scenarios since recreational marijuana became legal on Jan. 1 in Nevada.

Tony Alamo, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, told the Gazette-Journal he has received dozens of calls from gaming officials unclear on the murky regulations.

 “We told licenses stay away from marijuana, you could be involved in federal violations,” said  A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Gaming Control Board, which regulates the industry in Nevada. “There were a number of gaming licensees that wanted to get involved. We had maneuvered and guided the industry, but with the advent of recreational, it’s a different game.”

Gaming industry executives have asked regulators if they are allowed to take money from a marijuana businesses. “We need some action – one way or another – from the federal government,” Burnett told the Gazette-Journal. “Knowing what we’re supposed to enforce would be helpful. It’s not been easy.”

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