August 11th Clark County Green Ribbon Advisory Panel
August 11th’s Clark County Green Ribbon Advisory Panel focused on four main issues: Marijuana requirements at McCarran Airport, Security requirements and protocols for medical and retail marijuana establishments, Protocols for delivery of marijuana products to customers, and Emerging issues with respect to public consumption.
The issue that seemed to generate the greater number of public comments was the emerging issues relating to public consumption. This is largely because of the legal issues that are involved with where customers can consume their legally purchased marijuana and because of a recent letter to licensees from Clark County’s Department of Business License office. The letter warned licensed marijuana enterprises that they risk suspension or revocation of their license if they sponsor, advertise, or invite the public to publicly consume marijuana at events, this includes events at private residences. They also included “tour buses, limousines, and other common carriers” (Notification to Marijuana Licensees, Aug. 7,2017).
The panel heard public comment before getting to the agenda items that dealt with the four main issues presented above. In the order they were discussed:
Marijuana requirements at the McCarran Aviation System will mandate that there is no advertising of marijuana or marijuana products on Aviation System property, this does not include advertising inside of taxi cabs. Informational campaigns fall under the same umbrella as advertising are are not allowed on airport property. Marijuana amnesty boxes should be provided for passengers to dispose products they are not allowed to bring into the airport, prior to entering secured areas of the airport. Possession, distribution, and consumption of marijuana are prohibited on airport property.
Security protocols were discussed in light of recent robberies, a request for information from Metro was raised to inform efforts to propose recommendations for the Board of County Commissioners.
The discussion for delivery of marijuana and marijuana products to customers ultimately ended with the recommendation to defer to the state’s decision when the final regulations are adopted.
Finally, the panel discussed the emerging and ongoing issues relating to the lack of legal spaces for public marijuana consumption. The panel discussed concern over illegal clubs and consumption events that state they are sponsored by or supported by marijuana licensees, whether the licensees are supporting these enterprises or not. Some on the panel supported the idea of having consumption lounges attached to dispensaries. One panelist, who represents gaming, spoke to the state having already considered this matter in the legislature and decided to not to move forward with public consumption lounges. Andrew Jolley, owner of The Source dispensaries and panelist, spoke to the need to address this issue where excited tourists have to be told where they can’t consume their legally purchased products. “Doing nothing creates a problem too” he said as he discussed his concerns with legalized consumption lounges. He proposed looking into whether consumption lounges violate the Cole Memo. If they do not, then a pilot program could be developed that spans 3-6 months with a limited number of establishments, operation of such establishments would be limited to privileged license holders, and these established would be closely regulated.
There were questions left unanswered by the panel. The biggest question being is there anywhere for tourists or other recreational or medical marijuana consumers to go that is legal aside from their own private residences?
At this point there is still no simple answer to where tourists, or locals who wish to consume socially, are legally allowed to do so.