Patients and industry win in Nevada

September 24, 2014 | Don Duncan

Medical cannabis patients and industry teamed up to win an important victory in Nevada yesterday. A crowd of more than 100 patients, industry workers, lawmakers, and other stakeholders persuaded the state’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health to abandon plans to limit the number of licensed cultivation facilities authorized under state law.

Law enforcement lobbyist were pressuring the Division to limit cultivation statewide, but Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and other stakeholders told staff that limits would choke off access to medicine for legal patients. Staff listened. There will be no limits on cultivation permits – for now. We will have to stay vigilant to be sure medical cannabis opponents do not keep pushing to roll back safe access in the state. 

Pictured: Serina Choi and Lauren Payne from NLS with me at their office in Las Vegas

Most of yesterday’s victory was won in advance. ASA and other stakeholders talked to staff in advance to be sure they understood the complicated factors that affect the quantity of medicine a patient needs, how much medicine a cultivation center can produce, and how both can change over time. Our phone calls, emails, and memos before the hearing made a difference.

Passing medical cannabis laws is just the beginning of safe access. It takes a lot of work and diligence to be sure they are properly implemented and really work for patients. This is the kind of work ASA does every day all over the county. We were able to help in Nevada because local members and industry leaders alerted us to the proposed change in regulations and helped turn out a crowd. Well done, Nevada!

Special thanks are due to our friends at National Licensing Services (NLS), a leader in medical cannabis licensing in the state. The team at NLS recognized the threat and helped facilitate an effective response. 

Threats to safe access at the local and state level will come up more and more moving forward. Our opponents in law enforcement have not gone away. Local patient and industry advocacy work is still important, and ASA needs help from ordinary community members to respond in a timey manner.  

I want to encourage patients and advocates nationwide to get involved and be proactive in looking for help supporting safe access, sensible regulations, and protections for patients. ASA can help. Have a look at the Advocacy section of our website for tools and resources – including our free online Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center.

Thanks for working with ASA to protect and expand patients’ access.


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