Following in the progressive footsteps of Colorado and California, the state of Nevada made the leap towards legalizing recreational cannabis last November. Since then, lawmakers have been working to implement the system before 2018, but edible manufacturers may face a major hurdle in trying to get some of their products on the market.
Although Nevada may be home to the illustrious and tourist-driven Sin City, Sen. Patricia Farley of Las Vegas believes that the state’s accepted vices should stop at sugary weed snacks. After passing a law that requires all marijuana-based products to be packaged in a manner that doesn’t appeal to children, state policymakers are looking to expand upon those restrictive guidelines.
Farley recently introduced Senate Bill 344 to the floor, a law that would make it illegal for edibles that contain sugar to be sold, unless they’re considered baked goods. This measure would apply to products like gummy bears, lollipops, sodas, and more, and labels that depict cartoon characters, mascots, action figures, balloons, fruits, or toys would also be prohibited across the state.
Baked goods such as brownies and cookies would be allowed, but they will be required to be sold in opaque packaging. Although the senator was a supporter of recreational legalization, she is committed to integrating educational programs that would deter children from trying cannabis until they reach the age of 21.
SB344 would also require manufacturers to clearly list how many servings of THC are in their product, while another amendment would impose 25 mg THC limits across state lines. But some officials, like Joe Pollock of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, believes that 25 mg limit is too high, particularly for those without experience with cannabis use.
Edible manufacturers have argued that the transparent packaging requirements would prevent them from properly marketing their goods, and feel that the ban on candy-like products is an unnecessary knee-jerk reaction. Opponents of the bill point to Las Vegas’ decorative slot machines as hypocritical, claiming that these gambling machines are also restricted to adults but still boasts cartoon characters and flashing lights.
However, state lawmakers are also looking to protect legally abiding cannabis users as well. Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom has proposed Senate Bill 374, a measure that would prevent licensing boards from disciplining professionals due to their use or advocacy of recreational marijuana, as well as their involvement in the industry.
All in all, the latest round of proposed bills show that Nevada is preparing to welcome recreational marijuana into the state, but they’re doing so in a cautious way. While SB344 would likely create issues for edible producers with creative marketing schemes, the state lawmakers have a clear concern for the children that could very well overshadow the misfortune it may cause cannabis companies.