Good record keeping is essential to ensuring your marijuana business runs smoothly. Not only does it allow you to track your business’ progress and stay organized, it also helps your business remain in compliance, as some records are required to be kept by law and can be subject to inspection by government officials.
In addition to maintaining financial records for accounting purposes, your business should also be keeping the following for at least 5 years:
Personnel records include: applications, documentation of training, performance reviews and any disciplinary actions taken against an employee.
This includes documentation of all taxes paid to state and federal entities. You should also maintain documentation of all license fees paid to state and local jurisdictions.
All receipts from financial transactions made by your business need to be kept, including, but not limited to: contributions, reimbursements, reasonable compensation, and expenses. Additionally, if your business sells or transfers marijuana or marijuana products, you must retain the receipts, in addition to the corresponding electronic tracking inventory reference.
These records should include: dates, amounts, and testing results of all marijuana or marijuana products that is cultivated, produced, sold, or destroyed by your business. Additionally, you should always be tracking and recording the amount of marijuana that is stored at your business. Marijuana should be tracked from seed to sale with various points of information as required by regulations.
Transfer logs should include the amount of marijuana product transferred, the date of the transfer, in addition to the full name of the person(s) who is transferring and receiving the marijuana product.
Other records that should be kept by your business include: transportation logs, maintenance/cleaning/sanitation logs, advertising approvals, packaging approvals, as well as a record of any inspections conducted at your business. You should also always maintain a visitor log, which includes the full name of the visitor, the date and time of the visit, as well as the reason for the visit.
Basically, any records relating to the marijuana or marijuana products or the operations of your business should be maintained and kept for 5 years.
The Nevada Dispensary Association (“NDA”), a non-profit trade association, was formed in 2014 with a mission to develop and promote best practices in Nevada’s medical marijuana industry. Medical marijuana use was legalized in Nevada in 2000, but no mechanism for legal sales of marijuana existed at that time. Then, in 2013, Senator Tick Segerblom sponsored a bill that was later passed by the Nevada legislature. This bill allowed a limited number of dispensary, cultivation, production, and laboratory establishments to operate in Nevada.
The History of Medical Marijuana Legalization in Nevada
Once medical marijuana establishments became legal, many of the business owners who applied and were ultimately awarded medical marijuana establishment licenses were long-time Nevada residents with deep roots in the community. A number of medical marijuana business owners initiated their involvement in the industry because they had family members with serious medical problems who were being treated with medical marijuana. Many others were drawn to the unique opportunity to build a new industry in Nevada from the ground up, approaching the opportunity as an interesting and rewarding challenge.
Who Does the Nevada Dispensary Association Represent?
The Nevada Dispensary Association currently represents more than 90 percent of the dispensaries in Nevada, including establishments located in both Northern and Southern Nevada. Many NDA members also hold cultivation and production licenses and operate those establishments, which has helped the association to stay mindful of a wide cross-section of interests and issues throughout Nevada’s marijuana industry. The NDA’s Board includes:
- President: Andrew Jolley, Founder and CEO of The Source
- Secretary: David Goldwater, Co-owner of Inyo Fine Cannabis
- Treasurer: Ben Sillitoe, Co-founder and CEO of Oasis Cannabis
- Board Member: John Ritter, Chairman of the Board, The Grove
- Board Member: Brett Scolari, General counsel to Tryke
In 2014, the NDA hired attorney Riana Durrett, Esq. to direct its government affairs initiatives. The association promoted Durrett to the position of Executive Director in 2015. Durrett graduated from Boyd School of Law in 2008 and practiced law in Nevada and California before choosing to dedicate her efforts to the NDA full-time.
Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Nevada
Nevadans passed the ballot initiative to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in 2016, which legalized recreational marijuana possession and sales for adults over 21 years of age. The NDA urged lawmakers to allow sales of marijuana to begin earlier than mandated by the ballot initiative, which otherwise would have allowed sales to start on January 1, 2018. This allowed for a bump in tax revenue the State would not have collected otherwise. Nevada’s first recreational marijuana sales occurred on July 1, 2017.
Nevada Dispensary Association’s Contribution to the Medical Marijuana Program
The vast majority of the NDA’s efforts have aimed at protecting Nevada’s medical marijuana program from being minimized with the legalization of adult-use sales, as well as promoting the development and implementation of a strict regulatory framework. In 2017, the Association supported legislation aimed at preserving the medical marijuana program for patients by reducing the cost of patient cards, streamlining the process to obtain a patient card, and extending the period for which the card would be valid. This legislation also improved operations in the medical marijuana program, including establishing the first “single stream” of medical and adult-use marijuana in order to streamline the program and reduce costly inefficiencies. The Association also supported legislation that implemented consumer safety rules, such as limits on servings and requiring child-resistant packaging.
In March 2017, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval enacted a Task Force to develop and make recommendations on how to regulate adult-use sales in Nevada. The Governor appointed NDA Board Member John Ritter, along with other stakeholders such as law enforcement officials, local government representatives, youth drug use prevention organizations, legislators, and staff from the Governor’s office, among others. NDA’s board, members, Executive Director, and representatives of NDA members were chosen to participate in “working groups,” along with the stakeholders mentioned above, to assist the Governor’s Task Force in thoughtful deliberation on efficient and effective regulation. NDA members also participated in a series of additional public workshops to provide feedback on what would become the strict regulatory framework that is now in place in Nevada. NDA members have stepped up to the plate each time the industry faced a challenge, providing credibility and reliability as the program has developed.
The Future of The Nevada Dispensary Association
Through the cooperation and leadership of its members, along with its efforts to collaborate with non-member industry stakeholders, the NDA has become the voice of Nevada’s marijuana industry. Looking forward, the NDA and its members look forward to continuing to help foster a stable and reliable industry that contributes to Nevada and its communities. For further information on the NDA, or to reach out to the organization, visit nvdispense.com.
In 2017, over 42 million people visited Las Vegas.1 With such a large volume of tourists, and with the legalization of medical and adult-use marijuana in Nevada, the question of whether or not marijuana can be brought into or out of the state arises. Despite more states continuing to legalize marijuana for medical and/or adult use, it is important to know that there are still limitations on traveling with marijuana. As it is widely known, marijuana is still federally illegal.2 This means that while local law enforcement in states that have legalized recreational use may be more forgiving if someone of the legal age is in possession of the legal amount, federal prosecutors are still encouraged to pursue those in possession following the repeal of the Cole Memo.3 Federal prosecutors were not necessarily prohibited from pursuing marijuana possession and related crimes during the implementation of the Cole Memo, but it was re-classified as a low priority to prosecutors, with eight specific instances still being of concern to the Department of Justice. However, if one state has legalized recreational marijuana can it legally be carried from one state to another? No. One should refrain from packing marijuana away in a film canister and carrying it on a plane, period. There are two main prohibitions to packing marijuana onto airplanes when travelling. First, as mentioned above, it is still federally illegal.4 Second, airports may, and do, pass rules prohibiting the possession of marijuana on their premises.5 This blog will examine some of the finer points as to why flying with marijuana is still illegal.
Marijuana is Still Federally Illegal
The main obstacle to carrying marijuana in your carry-on is that possession is still federally illegal.6 Although McCarran International Airport is located in Nevada, a state that has legalized recreational and medical marijuana, the Department of Homeland Security, a federal entity, is responsible for security through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).7 Because federal employees are responsible for screening every flyer in the United States, and because the possession of marijuana is still federally illegal, then by the very fact, passing through security to board an airplane subjects flyers to federal scrutiny, making carrying marijuana onto airplanes illegal.
However, in Welch v. Huntleigh United States Corp., the Court stated that TSA employees do not have the authority to “detain individuals and must call law enforcement officers to search, seize, and arrest individuals if illegal items are found. . . Since the . . . screeners were only able to perform consensual searches, and had no authority to arrest, [screeners] cannot be considered law enforcement officers.”8 The Welch court also stated that “screeners are able to conduct consensual administrative searches for items which are prohibited entry into the airport’s sterile areas.”9 On top of TSA agents’ limited authority, the scope of items screened for is further limited. According to 49 U.S.C. § 44902, a TSA agent’s screening is limited to “establishing whether the passenger is carrying unlawfully a dangerous weapon, explosive, or other destructive substance.”10 Therefore, while TSA agents cannot directly arrest passengers, it falls on them to inform airport police or other law enforcement officers in the area of any prohibited substance, if necessary.
Airports Outlaw Possession of Marijuana
This leads to a second obstacle: airports passing rules specifically outlawing possession of marijuana on their premises. McCarran International Airport is owned and operated by Clark County. The County chooses to prohibit patrons who “possess, consume, use, display, transfer, distribute, sell, transport, or grow marijuana in or upon any Airport or any property or facility owned by the department of aviation.”11 One of the first airports to take such a stance in a state with legal recreational marijuana was Denver International Airport in Colorado. In December of 2013, the Denver International Airport became the first city facility to prohibit marijuana possession on its property, citing the fact that it is still illegal under federal law and that the federal government regulates the aviation industry.12 In some instances, federal funding may be used to coerce states and entities to comply with federal goals.13 One way that the federal government may dictate how states should legislate is through the withholding of federal funds.14 The federal government’s control over airport policies effects how law enforcement responding to marijuana possession plays out. Despite possession being legal in Nevada, if a traveler is found to have marijuana on their person inside McCarran International Airport, then even local law enforcement may cite them because it is prohibited through Clark County ordinance on airport property.15 However, according to The Cannabist-an affiliate of the Denver Post-in the first five months following Denver International’s ban on possession, “Denver police have not cited anyone for possession and have not confiscated any marijuana products.”16 In context, there were 21,105,942 passengers through Denver International in the first five months of 2014.17
Interstate Travel with Marijuana is Against Nevada Law
While it may not be actively enforced by the TSA, it is still illegal to fly with any amount of marijuana. Even prior to the Cole Memo being repealed, it was illegal to transport marijuana across state lines.18 Listed as one of eight exceptions, the Cole Memo stated the Department of Justice aimed to continually enforce “Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states.”19 Not only is it federally illegal, it is against the Nevada Revised Statutes to bring marijuana from outside Nevada into the state, and vice-versa.20
The City Council of Las Vegas has taken small steps to join a handful of other cities across the western United States to license and regulate consumption of marijuana and marijuana products outside of private residences. On June 27th, 2018 the City Council hosted a Social Use Workshop to discuss drafted changes to the City Municipal Code. While there is a long way to go before social use venues come to fruition, the proposed changes are good news for the Las Vegas marijuana community.
Regulations and Restrictions for Social Use Venues
Currently, only consumption in private residences is allowed, however, these proposed ordinances would allow businesses to apply for a privileged business license from the City of Las Vegas to allow consumption on the business premises. A social use venue would come with many regulations and restrictions. Most notably, consumption would be restricted to indoors only and could not be visible to the general public from outside the establishment. Other restrictions to social use venues during business hours would prohibit: allowing anyone under the age of twenty-one to be employed by the establishment, allowing anyone under the age of twenty-one inside of the establishment, selling or providing any marijuana or marijuana products on the premises, allowing the use of any paraphernalia or equipment that does not comply with the fire safety plan, or storing marijuana or marijuana products on the premises.
Potential Business Combinations with Social Use
A decision by the City Council to license social use as a privileged business license opens the possibility to different combinations of businesses and social use. For example, the drafted ordinance would allow the sale and service of alcohol with under eleven percent alcohol content if the establishment is approved for a beer and wine room license as well. Social use venues could also sell, provide or distribute marijuana paraphernalia, with sales being subject to a general retail license.
Documents Required when Applying for a Social Use License
Due to the nature of applying for a privileged business license, applicants for a social use venue would need to submit additional documentation to the City when applying. Some of these additional documents include: written statements acknowledging all applicable laws and the penalties for violating these laws, a written statement to the Director releasing liability of the City to issuing a license to the establishment, acknowledgement that the issuance of a privileged license is at the discretion of the City Council, a security plan designed to ensure compliance with the ordinance, a fire safety plan designed to ensure the safety of employees, patrons and the public.
Additional Responsibilities for Marijuana Social Use Establishments
As some current members of the marijuana industry in Las Vegas and surrounding areas are aware, the operation of a marijuana establishment comes at a price and with unique requirements. Obtaining a social use venue license would be no different. While currently the number of social use venue permits is not restricted, the available locations, fees and application process may restrict some businesses from obtaining permits. Currently, the annual fee for a social use venue is set at $5,000. Similar to current marijuana establishments, a social use venue would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of any school, or within 300 feet of any of the following: city park, church/house of worship, individual care family/group home, individual care center, community recreational facility (public), or any facility whose primary function is to provide recreational opportunities to minors. Social use venues would also be responsible for: complying with odor control and disposal requirements in the Las Vegas Municipal Code, following the approved fire and security plans, maintaining and conducting all activities, in addition to providing security and security measures, upon the premises, providing a twenty-four-hour surveillance system to monitor the interior and exterior of the premises (with a live feed which must be accessible to authorized law enforcement at all times and in real-time), not knowingly allowing the violation of any applicable laws or regulations, and the venue must ensure that at least one qualified person is on the premises at all times during the hours of operation.
Furthermore, because the privileged business licenses may be paired with other business licenses, the parking requirement will be that of the principal use of the site. If, however, it were to be a sole social use business, then it would be necessary to require one parking space for each 250 square feet of gross floor area. Additionally, pursuant to the City of Las Vegas Municipal Code 6.86, each employee of a social use venue must first obtain and maintain a valid work card.
It is important to remember that this is a draft and there will be revisions prior to a vote by the City Council. This is a great leap forward for the City of Las Vegas and the marijuana industry in the Las Vegas Valley.
What’s the First Step in Applying for a “Marijuana Consumption Lounge”?
If you’re interested in applying for a consumption lounge, Connor and Connor can help you identify what the first steps might be. We have years of experience helping people start businesses, specifically in the marijuana industry. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
In Nevada’s marijuana industry, it is crucial to keep up-to-date with current events and the ever-evolving laws and regulations. Much like the state’s gaming industry, Nevada’s marijuana industry is strictly regulated; those who fail to comply with the regulations can face serious consequences (such as the loss of one’s license).
The Connor & Connor team has written several articles discussing the various legal aspects of the marijuana industry. While the articles below certainly do not encompass every law and regulation, they can serve as a starting point for anyone interested in learning more.
If you have any questions regarding how a specific law or regulation applies to you and your marijuana business, contact us today.
Featured in Nevada Lawyer Magazine:
This article examines the legal and ethical concerns of marijuana advertising on social media sites such as Facebook. This article was also featured on the State Bar of Nevada’s Facebook page.
This article discusses how being a medical marijuana patient affects a person’s right to bear firearms.
Featured in Elevate Magazine’s ‘Legalese’ column:
Conflict between state and federal cannabis laws create tension for cannabis patients and their employers
Can an employer fire you for marijuana use? What if you have a medical marijuana patient card? This article discusses the legal aspects of marijuana use in the Nevada workplace.
It is important to remain in compliance with the Nevada Department of Taxation’s marijuana advertising requirements, as violations of the guidelines can be met with severe consequences. This article discusses the various Nevada marijuana advertising restrictions.
Although there is no specific law prohibiting marijuana use while pregnant, Child Protective Services may still get involved, as marijuana is still classified as a federally illegal substance. This article examines the potential legal consequences of consuming marijuana while pregnant.
This blog post was written by Corrina Esquivel, one of Connor & Connor’s talented team members. Part of Corrina’s job is processing Agent Registration Card Applications. Read Corrina’s post below to learn more about obtaining an Agent Registration Card.
So, would you like to work in a marijuana facility? First, you will need to obtain an Agent Registration Card.
Who – Who needs an Agent Registration Card?
Any employee, contractor, volunteer, owner, officer or board member of a marijuana cultivation, production, dispensary, laboratory or distributor facility will need to obtain an Agent Registration Card before starting work or becoming an owner, officer or board member of a marijuana facility.
What – What is an Agent Registration Card?
An Agent Registration Card is similar to a work card, such as a Sheriff’s Card (which is required for positions in a gaming establishment). An Agent Registration Card is required for positions or ownership interest in marijuana facilities. Similar to a Sheriff’s Card, a background check will be required as part of the Agent Registration Card Application.
Where – Where do I obtain an Agent Registration Card?
In the state of Nevada, any Department of Taxation 1location will process an Agent Registration Card Application.
When – When do I need an Agent Registration Card?
An Agent Registration Card is required to be in the possession of the Agent at all times when entering marijuana facilities. An Agent Registration Card is valid for one (1) year; therefore it is required to renew an Agent Registration Card each year.
Why – Why do I need an Agent Registration Card?
Similar to work cards such as a Sheriff’s Card, TAM Card or Health Card, an Agent Registration Card is required by law 2to obtain in order to secure a position or ownership interest in marijuana facilities.
How – How do I obtain an Agent Registration Card?
The Department of Taxation will provide a Nevada Marijuana Enforcement Division Agent Card Application3, in which an applicant is required to complete. Applicants will need to provide the following items to complete the Agent Card Application:
- Applicants will need to obtain two fingerprints, (one for medical and one for recreational) from a fingerprint agency. The fingerprint agency will electronically submit the applicant’s fingerprints to the Nevada Department of Public Safety and a fingerprint representative will also sign the Agent Applicant Fingerprint Submission Form, Page 13, of the Nevada Marijuana Enforcement Division Agent Card Application. The applicant will need to provide Page 13, completed by a fingerprint representative, with their Agent Card Application.
If the applicant is from out-of-state, the applicant will need to provide two physical fingerprint cards and mail them to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. A fee of $36.25 for each fingerprint card, made payable to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, will need to be included with the applicant’s physical fingerprint cards. The physical fingerprint cards will need to be completed with the reason fingerprinted, MNU account number and ORI number on each card; the above-mentioned information can be obtained from Pages 12 & 13 of the Nevada Marijuana Enforcement Division Agent Card Application.
- Applicants will need to obtain a standard United States passport photograph that is 2 inches in both height and width.
- A copy of an applicant’s government identification is required, such as a driver’s license or passport.
- A fee of $75.00 per card will need to be made payable to the Department of Taxation, i.e. an applicant applying for both cultivation and production agent registration cards will need to pay the Department of Taxation a total of $150.00.
- The Department of Taxation will provide a temporary agent card letter the same day; the temporary letter can be used to enter the marijuana facilities until the applicant receives their physical agent registration card in the mail, provided the applicant is not denied an agent registration card.
There are generally a couple of routes marijuana establishments take to getting insured; owners may use insurance companies that specifically cater to the cannabis industry or, alternatively, they may secure insurance through more traditional insurers willing to carry the risk. Some companies may also choose to self-insure, but that is relatively rare.
Popular Marijuana Insurance Companies
Big name cannabis insurers include OG Cannabis Insurance and Cannasure. Cannasure is a popular cannabis-based insurance company used by many of the marijuana establishments in Nevada. Unfortunately, premiums remain high compared to other industries.
Insurance Requirements for Marijuana Businesses
In terms of insurance coverage, dispensaries are largely treated the same as any other business. Pursuant to state law, dispensaries are required to carry certain types of insurance. In Nevada, businesses MUST be covered for premises liability and worker’s compensation. Additionally, all businesses with at least one employee are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance serves the purpose of covering employees that are injured or become ill during the course of employment. Nevada is a no-fault insurance state, which means that workers will be covered regardless of how the injury was caused, as long as it occurred at work. Failure to carry worker’s compensation can result in severe legal penalties.
Legal Issues with Insuring Marijuana Establishments
Despite the fact that marijuana is illegal at the federal level, marijuana establishments are still able to get insurance. Unlike banking (which poses different challenges), there are no restrictions when it comes to marijuana businesses being insured. When it comes to paying insurance companies, however, marijuana establishments may be stuck dealing only in cash. Therefore, businesses will likely need to make payments using money orders (similar to the way some establishments pay for utility bills).
It is likely that private insurers would also cover lounges (should they become legal at some point) the same as they do other marijuana businesses. Because a lounge is still considered a business, they would be required to carry insurance pursuant to state law, such as premises and worker’s compensation.
Marijuana Lounges and Insurance
Consumption lounges have yet to be implemented by states, therefore it is unknown which companies in particular would insure them and the exact cost of doing so. Lounges would require similar protections as other marijuana establishments in terms of employees, product coverage, and property coverage. As with all insurance companies, they would be required to determine the risk involved with the particular industry and establishment looking for coverage, in addition to the consideration of dram shop liability.
Marijuana first became legal for medical use in Nevada in 2000, but patients had to grow their own. In 2013, the Nevada Legislature authorized a state regulated commercial marijuana industry and since then it’s been a rapidly growing business. There are, however, a lot of pitfalls to avoid, and those who enter this industry should be aware of the risks.
Before you consider jumping into this new and emerging industry, there are a number of important things that should know. Let’s explore the top five things you must know about marijuana law in Nevada, and why it’s a good idea to have a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner.
Things to Know about Marijuana Law in Nevada
There are five important things that every business owner should know about marijuana law in Nevada before undertaking this venture. First, it’s still federally illegal even though the state permits it. Second, you require an Agent Card to work in the industry or to hold a license. Third, it’s under the auspices of both the state and local governments. Fourth, it’s very highly regulated. Finally, the laws are constantly changing.
Marijuana is Still Federally Illegal
That’s right; marijuana is still federally illegal. As a schedule 1 drug under controlled substances act, it is illegal to use, possess, grow or sell marijuana under federal law. State law cannot trump federal law pursuant to the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution. Understand that being involved in the marijuana industry could land you in serious trouble.
You Need an Agent Card
You must have an Agent Card to work in the industry or to hold a license to do so. This card is issued to those who have passed a criminal background check and paid the relevant fees. To pass, you must have no felony offenses or drug trafficking charges where the term of probation or incarceration was not completed more than ten years ago. Thus, if you had a felony conviction in 2000, and you were released from incarceration, probation or parole in 2005, you should be eligible to hold an agent card by 2015.
Regulated at State and Local Levels
At the state level, cannabis is regulated by the Department of Taxation. This department oversees the issuing of licenses and Agent Cards, as well as the regulation of businesses. Local governments also grant zoning and land use permits and inspect and oversee business operations. Since there are a number of local jurisdictions, businesses operate differently in different places so take the time to learn what regulations apply to your business in each jurisdiction that you operate.
Cannabis is Highly Regulated
Nevada takes regulation very seriously, our marijuana industry is regulated similar to our famous gaming industry. Like the gaming industry, owners and employees of cannabis businesses are thoroughly vetted. Inventory is regulated and tracked from seed through sales through a comprehensive reporting system. You need to know all the rules that apply to your business, and failure to obey them can result in losing your license as well as other penalties.
Constantly Evolving Laws
Marijuana law in Nevada is often a moving target. Since the inception of this program in 2013, regulations are regularly drafted, revised, and new policies published by the dept. of health and the tax department.
Work with a Qualified Attorney
For these reasons and more, it’s essential to have a team working with you who are well-versed in marijuana laws to keep you above board, and make sure that you’re always in compliance with these laws. In Nevada, that’s the law firm of Connor & Connor, PLLC. Give us a call for a consultation about your business today.
With the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana in Nevada, it is important to understand when and where consumption is appropriate. Although legal at the state level, there are still restrictions on where you can consume marijuana. In addition to following state regulations, you must also pay attention to workplace policies, as your employers are not required by law to allow marijuana use.
Can Employers in Nevada Legally Restrict Marijuana Use?
Current Nevada law states that an employer (public or private) can maintain, enact, and enforce policies that prohibit or restrict marijuana use in the workplace, regardless of its legality at the state level. Simply put: your boss does not have to allow marijuana use in the workplace and is within his or her rights to enforce such policies, even if it means terminating an employee.
But, what if you have a Nevada medical marijuana card? Can your boss still fire you? The answer to that question is not so clear cut.
The Nevada Revised Statutes do not require employers to allow medical marijuana in the workplace, however, an attempt must be made on the employer’s end to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees who hold a valid identification card. Such accommodations should not endanger any person or property, interfere with employees’ work responsibilities, or prohibit law enforcement officials from doing their jobs.
Can Medical Marijuana Patients be Fired for Failing a Drug Test?
Based solely on these regulations, it seems that if you hold a valid Nevada medical marijuana card, then you are entitled to reasonable accommodations from your boss and would therefore be safe from termination (within reason). Unfortunately, as an ongoing lawsuit involving Sunrise Hospital illustrates, it’s not that simple.
In February 2017, Scott Nellis was fired from his nursing position at Sunrise Hospital after a routine drug test revealed that he had marijuana in his system. Hospital officials believed that Nellis was working while under the influence (a violation of hospital policy) and subsequently fired him. At the time, Nellis possessed a valid Nevada medical marijuana card due to injuries incurred while on the job. Additionally, Nellis argued that he was never impaired while working and that “marijuana shows up in tests as long as a month after the substance is ingested,” which could explain the drug test results. By firing him, Nellis’ lawsuit claims that the hospital violated Nevada law by failing to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee who had a valid medical marijuana card. Recently, Sunrise Hospital attempted to file a motion to dismiss Nellis’ lawsuit, however, Clark County District Court Judge Mark Bailus rejected it.
As the lawsuit moves forward, several questions regarding medical marijuana use and the workplace will take center stage:
- When is firing an employee for medical marijuana use appropriate?
- What constitutes “reasonable accommodations?”
- How can employers accurately test for marijuana impairment?
The result of this lawsuit could finally provide a definitive answer to these questions and more.
As a Medical Marijuana Card Holder, How Can I Protect Myself?
In the meantime, if you are an employee who has a valid Nevada medical marijuana card, it is imperative that you review your employer’s policies regarding marijuana use. As a rule of thumb, it is never okay to work while under the influence of any type of drug, as you are potentially putting yourself and others at risk. If you are unsure of how a certain policy affects you, contact a qualified attorney today.
With marijuana becoming either decriminalized or straight-up legalized in states all over the nation, marijuana licenses are becoming a very hot commodity. A lot of people are starting up businesses, and just as many are looking to buy or sell a business. Unfortunately, some very specific issues apply to buying and selling a marijuana business in Nevada that you will need to address. Buying or selling a marijuana business is not the same as buying or selling a typical business, there are strict rules and regulations that need to be considered in your transaction.
What exactly are these issues, and how can you address them to be sure that you’re getting a clean business where everything is completely above-board and ready to go? Let’s examine the ins and outs of selling or buying a marijuana business in Nevada, and the steps you’ll need to take, to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Buying a Marijuana Business in Nevada
Right now marijuana is a hot business, with a lot of people looking to buy in. There are, however, certain unique factors that come into play with these licenses. Among the most prominent of these issues is that while marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, it is still illegal at the federal level. Issues like illegality defenses, contracts for real property and labor issues can all be affected by the federal prohibition of marijuana. Due to the federal prohibition of marijuana, you may not be able to access traditional channels of banking and financing your transaction.
Licenses and Regulations
Marijuana business licenses are also very heavily regulated, which requires a detailed vetting process. This process is very similar to that which Nevada gaming companies have to go through, and includes background checks for owners related to financial records and criminal charges. It’s not a bad idea to have all partners in the venture undergo background checks and seek such clearances before even beginning the purchase process.
You also have to get approvals from state and local governments, and this can require an attorney who knows the ins and outs of such transactions. Buying a marijuana business requires very detailed work, and it is always better to spend some money up front to be sure you know exactly what you’re getting right off the bat. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in the state and local rules can actually save you money and headaches in the long run.
Due Diligence Period
Like with the purchase of any business, a proper due diligence period is critical. You need to be sure the license is transferable, that it is in good standing, and there aren’t any hidden issues. Be sure that there aren’t statements of deficiency, landlord tenant issues, pending litigation, or other issues that can hold you up from the purchase. Due diligence is a process by which you investigate every aspect of the business you’re buying. You investigate its financial performance, operations, tax issues, legal compliance, contracts, assets, intellectual property and other aspects, which you outline in a letter of intent.
It’s far better to spend the time and money doing due diligence than to find out too late that there are all kinds of problems in the way of a clean transaction. Make sure that you work with competent professionals and do your full due diligence to be sure that the license and business you’re purchasing is completely clean.
Working with an Attorney
Selling or buying a marijuana business in Nevada carries a number of specific and unique issues. It’s best to work with a qualified attorney who is knowledgeable about these issues specifically. For help in this area, call Connor & Connor, PLLC, today.