State senator who led crusade to legalize pot reveals stake in Canadian marijuana company
He may have a strain of marijuana named after him, but Democratic state senator and Clark County Commission candidate Tick Segerblom has a more lucrative connection to the cannabis industry — a seat on the board of a Canadian marijuana company.
According to his 2018 financial disclosure form filed on Tuesday, Segerblom listed one of his sources of income from MPX Bioceutical Corporation, a Canadian-based cannabis company that operates in Arizona, Nevada, Maryland and Massachusetts. The company purchased Greenmart of Nevada, a cannabis cultivation and production facility located in North Las Vegas, for $19 million in May 2017.
MPX lists Segerblom as one of seven members of the businesses’ board of directors, which primarily consists of marijuana business owners or other investors.
In an interview, Segerblom said he joined the company's board around November, and is paid around $7,500 each fiscal quarter for serving on the board. He said it was an “opportune time” to get involved with the business, given the company’s status as a “penny stock” on the Canadian stock exchange.
Although such an arrangement isn’t possible for American-owned marijuana businesses given the federal ban on the drug, Segerblom said he wanted to study the business model to help prepare if and when marijuana is decriminalized on a federal level.
“There’s lots of reasons why Nevada would be a perfect place for publicly traded (marijuana) corporations,” he said.
Segerblom, who also operates a private law practice, said he would consider resigning from the board if elected, but noted that even if he was on the County Commission, the MPX-owned facility was under the jurisdiction of the City of North Las Vegas — not the county.
He also noted that many lawmakers in Nevada’s part-time Legislature take outside employment, specifically noting former Republican state Sen. Bill Raggio, a partner at the law firm of Jones Vargas (now Fennemore Craig) that routinely lobbied the Legislature, as well as sitting on the board of Sierra Health Services (now UnitedHealth), despite his oversight role in the Legislature.
Nevada ethics laws have few restrictions on outside employment for state lawmakers, and given the low pay and short legislative sessions every two years, many legislators are employed with outside firms or businesses that also lobby or are affected by decisions made in the state Legislature.
Segerblom, who was elected to the Assembly in 2006, and has served in the state Senate since 2012, spearheaded efforts creating the state’s medical marijuana structure in 2013 and was an adamant and public supporter of the 2016 ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.
He received $31,500 from marijuana businesses during the 2016 election cycle, the most of any state lawmaker.