State officials are holding firm on an expedited plan to begin adult use marijuana sales in July, despite comments from the Trump administration indicating a forthcoming crackdown in states that regulate its commercial production and sale.
Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Associated Press that the agency is “moving forward” with plans to permit retail cannabis sales by this summer.
Fifty-five percent of voters in November approved Question 2, which legalized the adult use and possession of personal use quantities of marijuana on January 1, 2017. Separate provisions in the voter-initiated law call on regulators to regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults by next year.
However, state regulators announced in early February their intention to fast-track retail sales by permitting licensed dispensaries to sell cannabis to non-patients starting July 1.
The move by Nevada officials stands in sharp contrast to those of lawmakers in other states, such as Maine and Massachusetts, where politicians in recent weeks have enacted legislation delaying the implementation of retail cannabis sales. In California, where voters in November passed a similar initiative, lawmakers have also hinted at potentially delaying retail marijuana sales until after the law’s intended January 1, 2018 deadline.
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Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the Trump administration is likely to engage in “greater” efforts to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have legalized its adult use. Since then, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has falsely alleged that statewide marijuana regulatory schemes are associated with increases in incidences of violent crime, and told a gathering of state Attorney Generals, “[W]e don’t need to be legalizing marijuana.”
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