News - September 18, 2017 - by Ray Hagar

By Ray Hagar
Nevada Newsmakers

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, predicted Monday on Nevada Newsmakers that Nevada will soon have home delivery of recreational marijuana.

Segerblom, who helped guide regulations of Nevada's medical and recreational marijuana industries through the Legislature, said home deliveries will begin soon after the state enacts permanent regulations next year.

"It's a done deal," Segerblom said. "We're doing it right now for medical (marijuana). It works perfect.

"The police like it," Segerblom said from a Clark County perspective. "Obviously, you have to verify who is getting it but it is no different than someone going to a store, showing an ID and buying it."

Home delivery make sense for Nevada since homes are currently the only legal places where recreational marijuana can be legally consumed in Nevada, according to state laws.

"It's workable," Segerblom said.

Segerblom said he also disagrees with Gov. Brian Sandoval's stance that legal pot lounges -- where tourists and locals could go to consume marijuana -- are a bad idea. Sandoval said the lounges could invite unwanted federal scrutiny to Nevada's recreational marijuana industry.

Segerblom said having public places to consume marijuana should lessen federal attention, "because the flip side is what is happening now. We are selling $1 million a day in marijuana to tourists and no one knows where they are using it. The reality is, they (tourists) are going back to their hotel room, back to the casino and back to the place we don't want them. That, to me, would bring federal attention."

Nevada resorts and casinos can have no part in the state's legal, recreational marijuana long as marijuana consumption and possession is viewed as a felony by federal authorities, state gaming regulators have said.

A recent opinion from Nevada's Legislative Counsel Bureau said state law does not bar counties or municipalities from allowing marijuana lounges.

"The reality is that is we are inviting 40 million tourists a year to come here and buy it," Segerblom said about recreational marijuana. "We have $70 million in our (state general fund) budget just from the 10-percent excise tax, which basically is equivalent to $1 million a day in marijuana sales for the next two years.

"So let's just figure out how people can use it publicly by making sure that -- No. 1, people who use it are 21 and older and secondly, they don't use it then go out and get in their car and drive home," he said.

Segerblom also praised Sandoval to the work he did with the taxation of recreational marijuana and the help he gave the industry to quickly get up and running.

"So we can all have our own opinions," Segerblom said. "But to me the best thing would be to have a place where you can legitimately go and everyone can see. They buy it over here. They go over there and use it. It is in public and it is all kosher."

The current structure of legal-pot-but-nowhere-to-smoke-it is hypocritical, Segerblom said.

"Do we at least tell people, 'Come to Nevada, buy our marijuana -- which we are doing -- and here is where you can use it?'" Segerblom said. "Or do we say, 'Come to Nevada, buy our pot and the truth is, you can't use it anywhere. Plus, you can't take it back home with you.'

"That to me, is the hypocrisy of the way we are doing things, Segerblom said."

Segerblom said he is not a lonely voice pushing for marijuana lounges.

"The fact is, local law enforcement, at least here in Clark County, wants the pot lounges. They want places where people can use it. The casinos want it because they want places where people can use it. So this is not something where I am the only one talking about it. Everybody is talking about it."