Request denied to throw out lawsuit on Nevada's recreational marijuana

Marijuana trafficking (Courtesy: MGN Online)

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson denied the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Nevada's liquor distributors seeking to delay the launch of recreational marijuana sales in the state.

Liquor distributors had sought and were granted the temporary restraining order holding up the implementation of the state's new marijuana sales law while the lawsuit was heard. They claim the State Taxation Department's regulations for licensing distributors of marijuana are arbitrary and have effectively blocked the state's liquor distributors from being licensed to sell marijuana.

The distributors face a problem in that they are licensed by the federal government to distribute liquor, but marijuana is still an illegal drug under federal law. As a result, they have been slow to apply for licenses. However, the state is anxious to see marijuana go on sale July 1 as planned, and it is moving on to license current medical marijuana distributors to pick up the slack because not enough liquor distributors have filed for licenses.

Judge Wilson set a one day hearing for next Monday on the lawsuit itself. It will be argued under strict time limits imposed by both sides as time is running out to make a decision.


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A judge in Nevada is trying to decide whether the state's first sales of recreational marijuana should begin as scheduled July 1 despite complaints from alcohol distributors.

Lawyers for the liquor distributors and the Nevada Department of Taxation are expected to go before Judge James Wilson in Carson City on Tuesday to argue the case.

Wilson granted a temporary restraining order May 30 blocking licensing of pot distributors under the ballot measure voters approved in November.

The liquor distributors argue the law dictates they get the first shot at the equivalent licenses for recreational marijuana.

The state says it has the authority to license medical marijuana dispensaries to play that role on a temporary basis from July 1 through Dec. 31.

The Nevada Cannabis Coalition says any delay could cost the state millions of dollars a month in tax revenue targeted for schools.

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