Nevada has been one of the states that has allowed for medical marijuana use, having first legalized this specific usage of the drug back in 2014. Despite this, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has voiced their opinion against allowing for licensed gambling operators to begin any involvement in the marijuana industry, making it crystal clear that they do not want the industry to move in this direction. This decision has been made despite the increasing acceptance of marijuana in the United States, as a few more states have legalized it completely this year – Nevada being one of them.
The Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative had been placed on the ballots these year and was marked as Question 2, which asked whether or not people wanted recreational marijuana to become legalized within the state. It managed to pass, which means that adults can now legally carry up to 1/8 of an ounce of concentrated marijuana, or up to an ounce of regular marijuana on themselves. Following this, the Nevada Gaming Commission has received questions regarding how the new law is going to effect the gambling industry and whether or not it could potentially have an impact.
There was not a formal type of vote that was held to decide whether or not marijuana in casinos would be approved or not, but there it was definitely a major component of discussion. There is a mixed pot of opinions on whether or not casinos should begin selling marijuana within their venues and allow for access to it following its legalization, but it seems that the Nevada Gaming Commission is remain strong in their decision not to allow for the casino industry to have ties with the marijuana industry.
Before the meeting with the Commission was held, there was a public workshop that was hosted by the NGC in order to figure out both the pros and cons behind the new Question 2 law coming into effect. There was a large amount of participation from senior executives within the gambling industry of the state. Bill Young, who works for Station Casinos and is the head of security for the establishment, wanted a little bit of guidance on how to move forward with marijuana being legalized. From his own experience of visiting casinos based out of Colorado, a state that has had legal marijuana for some time now, he was not in favor of having the gambling industry becoming affiliated with the marijuana industry.
Even though state law allows for recreational marijuana use, it is still a violation of federal law and so Chairman Burnett doesn’t feel comfortable allowing for Nevada casinos to begin selling the drug in their venues or becoming entwined in any way. Facing questions regarding how casinos should react if employees begin smoking marijuana, the board stated that these types of questions will revolve around the legality of how casinos can move forward and would have to be determined by politicians and judges.