Sisolak requests bill creating Cannabis Control Board; current plan is for paid, part-time board and advisory group

Michelle Rindels
Michelle Rindels

Making good on his promise from his State of the State speech, Gov. Steve Sisolak has requested a bill that would create a Cannabis Control Board in Nevada.

J. Brin Gibson, Sisolak’s general counsel and chairman of an advisory panel that’s explored marijuana regulatory structures over the past few weeks, said the outline of the proposed bill was submitted on Thursday. A Sisolak executive order calling for more effective marijuana oversight had set a Friday deadline for completing “enabling language for the Legislature’s consideration.”

Sisolak’s office did not provide a written version of the request, but Gibson said the plan is for a five-person, paid, part-time board with members that have no financial interest in the marijuana industry. There would also be an unpaid advisory board on which people who are involved in the industry could participate.

He said it’s up to the Legislature and governor whether the board should be a standalone entity with some support from state agencies such as the Enterprise Information Technology Services, or under the umbrella of another agency. In general, he said the concept is to take existing Department of Taxation marijuana division staff and put them in the new structure with the addition of a board and an advisory board.

“I don't know how many additional people we're talking about but not that many,” he said about staffing levels.

Staff at the Legislative Counsel Bureau are tasked with turning the recommendations into bill language. It’s unclear when the bill will be introduced or brought up for a hearing.

The Department of Taxation has a 44-position unit that currently oversees the marijuana industry, but Sisolak has envisioned a different regulatory structure more akin to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Department of Taxation has come under scrutiny for, among other things, a lack of transparency in awarding conditional dispensary licenses late last year — an issue that has attracted lawsuits.


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