Marijuana data available on Nevada state website

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's governor signed a law (Senate Bill 32) Friday opening the books on applications and airing the names of those awarded lucrative licenses to sell recreational marijuana in the state.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the measure Friday in Carson City, saying it ushers in a "new era of transparency that will benefit the industry and the public alike."

The new law for the first time makes public the identity of marijuana license applicants and the method the state uses to score and rank bids.

It comes with the state facing multiple lawsuits from companies turned down last year for 61 new licenses and the number of legal dispensaries in Nevada set to nearly double in coming months.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake for store owners and the state, with the marijuana marketplace booming and tax revenues rolling in.

The licensing process has faced complaints from companies who say it is not clear what criteria officials used to award licenses. Their complaints have turned into lawsuits, and companies accuse the state of unconstitutionally picking winners and losers for the marijuana licenses.

Department of Taxation spokesman Ky Plaskon has said plans are being made to release the names of all applicants and licensees once Gov. Steve Sisolak signs the measure.

61 dispensaries in Nevada reported almost $425 million in recreational pot sales in the year after broad marijuana sales began in July 2017. Medical marijuana sales brought in another $105 million.

There are currently 65 marijuana stores statewide, and medical and recreational pot sales totaled $884 million in the last six months of 2018.

The law Sisolak signed easily cleared the Legislature after the state Department of Taxation offered the transparency amendment.

The information can be found online at Tax.NV.Gov.

Associated Press writer Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

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