weather icon Clear

Marijuana tax fight kicks off with first passage of Nevada pot bill

The fight over pot taxes is officially underway in the Nevada Legislature.

With less than a month left in the session, the debate over how the state should spend cash generated by fast-approaching retail marijuana sales got off the ground Tuesday night when the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development voted on party lines 4-3 to send Senate Bill 487 to the floor for a full vote.

With Tuesday’s vote, Democratic Sen. Julia Ratti’s SB 487 became the first of three proposed recreational marijuana tax bills to clear a committee.

The question remains whether Gov. Brian Sandoval, whose own SB 508 proposes a different tax structure, would be willing to sign a marijuana tax that is not his own.

Sandoval’s bill calls for a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana. His proposed budget projects that tax to generate about $70 million over two years, with the money going into the state’s education fund.

A third bill, SB 302 from Sen. Tick Segerblom, calls for a 15 percent tax that would send more money to local governments.

Because the bills impose a new tax, a two-thirds vote is needed in both houses for them to be sent to the governor’s desk and be signed into law.

Ratti said the goal of her bill is to combine the various proposals and build “an efficient, effective taxation system.”

The amended version of SB 487 approved by the committee would put a 12 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales. Ten of the 12 percent would go to the state’s public education fund — matching Sandoval’s proposal — and the remaining 2 percent would go to a new fund, the Youth and Families Account.

The new account would help fund programs to help with “impacts of substance use on our communities,” Ratti said, and would focus on preventing substance abuse and marijuana use among youth.

Other amendments adopted into SB 487 include mirroring the taxes at the cultivation level for both medical and recreational marijuana so companies don’t have to separate and track the products separately and caps the fees local governments can place on marijuana businesses at three percent of gross revenue.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Nye County approves jail bond refi

With interest rates in America so low and Nye County finally free from a bond clause that prevented it from doing so, earlier this year the county began the process necessary to refinance the bond that had been taken out to fund the construction of the Nye County Detention Center in Pahrump.

Serenity Health issues apology to Pahrump community

After nearly eight full months of providing COVID-19 testing to the local community without any reported problems, officials with Serenity Health have issued a formal apology to the community following a vexing night in which the health care provider ran out of testing materials and area residents who had been waiting in line were told they would not be able to receive a test that evening.

A more thankful, less stressful holiday

In a year that’s already proven “interesting,” Thanksgiving will be no exception. Lots of folks are hosting smaller gatherings, meaning fewer people to bring dishes or help in the kitchen. Some may be making their very first Thanksgiving dinner. To assist in making this a low-stress, enjoyable holiday for all, I offer a few tips.

$500k in chip sealing set for Pahrump roadways

In August of this year, Nye County commissioners gave the green light to resurrect the county’s long-dormant chip sealing program and with approval of a list of selected roads granted and the construction contract officially awarded, the 2020 Chip Seal Program is now ready to roll.

Local man facing child sex charges

A Pahrump man was arrested this month over allegations surrounding child pornography.

Pahrump Gunfighters forced to cancel show

For many years the Pahrump Gunfighters have entertained and thrilled the local community with their Old West shows and skits at Dusty Flats on West Stagecoach Road.

Kellogg Park concrete contract awarded

What once was bare land covered in nothing more than sparse desert vegetation is slowly but surely giving way to what will one day be the town of Pahrump’s fifth park, Kellogg Park.

Walmart more than doubles number of personal shoppers

Saying that more than ever the company knows how important it will be for customers to use time-saving services such as pickup and delivery, Walmart has more than doubled the number of personal shoppers versus last year.

Nevada flu vaccination data dashboard launched

Nevada’s influenza vaccination data dashboard is now live providing weekly updates of information from Nevada WebIZ, Nevada’s Immunization Information System. This new tool will help Nevada’s fight against influenza, a critical step in the fight against COVID-19.

BLM postpones wild horse gather at Fish Creek HMA

The Bureau of Land Management Mount Lewis Field Office is postponing the 2020 Fish Creek wild horse gather to later this year or early 2021 because of operational concerns with COVID-19 related to this particular gather.