Nevada residents and tourists have been enjoying legal recreational cannabis since the start of the summer (when there was enough supply…), but Clark County commissioners have just voted to keep Las Vegas' major airport a cannabis-free zone. At a meeting this week, commissioners voted to ban both the possession and advertisement of cannabis at McCarran International Airport.
According to the commissioners, this ban was enacted in order to keep the airport's rules consistent with federal regulations. The ban also extends to all property in the county that is owned by the airport, including land leased to private businesses. However, the ban does not apply to advertising on taxis or personal vehicles, so someone with a pot ad on their vehicle can still pick up or drop off passengers.
Commissioner Larry Brown voiced concerns that the approval of vehicle-based advertisements could be a “slippery slope,” where cannabis-branded cars loop through the airport parking areas just to advertise weed. “We don’t want McCarran Airport to become the pilot program where people start challenging the gray area of the legal industry,” Brown explained.
As recently as last month, Brown was in favor of banning “everything as related to recreational and medical marijuana,” but he found that his concerns were eased after discussing the matter with cannabis industry representatives. “They agreed that we need to kind of set the boundaries and encourage all the (marijuana industry) membership to stay within the boundaries,” Brown said. “That way if we can agree on the front end we can identify when someone pushes the envelope too far.”
Anyone in violation of the cannabis advertising and possession ban at McCarran International Airport will face a misdemeanor charge and a civil fine. The exact amount of the fine has not yet been established.