A new bill introduced in Nevada could be a game-changer for the cannabis industry. Assembly Bill 253, if passed, would allow mobile cannabis vendors at pop-up events that are for ages 21 and up.
Most states with legal cannabis allow businesses to attend private events and sample product, but cannabis can only be sold at a licensed dispensary. Other states, like California, have been making allowances for things like cannabis farmers markets to close the gap between consumers and providers. If Nevada makes this change, it would be huge not only for the state but for the national industry at large.
Assembly Bill 253 would establish licenses for vendors to sell marijuana at certain events like concerts or shows. A’Esha Goins, founder of the Cannabis Equity and Inclusion Community, who are lobbying for the bill, thinks that this would be great for both customers and businesses. Vendors who are interested would need to apply in order to qualify and would then need to get permission from both the state cannabis board and local jurisdictions. Vendors would only be allowed to resell product they bought from dispensaries.
AB-253, which was presented by Assemblyman C.H. Miller (D-North Las Vegas), would create a “mobile cannabis concierge license” so small vendors could operate mobile cannabis lounges at licensed cannabis events. A similar policy for allowing cannabis at events failed last session.
“Just like any event, you would go to the city and ask for a liquor license, this is the same concept.” says Goins.
What the Mobile Cannabis Vendor Bill Means
The official language of the bill reads:
“An Act relating to cannabis; providing for the licensure and regulation by the Cannabis Compliance Board of certain events at which the sale and consumption of cannabis or cannabis products is allowed; setting forth certain requirements for the issuance of a cannabis event organizer license, temporary cannabis event permit and portable cannabis vendor license; setting forth certain requirements concerning the operation of a temporary cannabis event; imposing various requirements on cannabis event organizers and portable cannabis vendors; revising provisions relating to social equity applicants; requiring the Board to adopt regulations establishing certain fees; revising provisions relating to the consumption of cannabis in a public place; revising provisions relating to the excise tax on retail sales of cannabis and cannabis products; exempting a cannabis event organizer who holds a temporary cannabis event from certain provisions prohibiting a person from maintaining a place for the purpose of unlawfully selling, giving away or using any controlled substance; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
“Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of persons and 1 establishments involved in the cannabis industry in this State by the Cannabis 2 Compliance Board. (Title 56 of NRS) This bill provides for the licensure and 3 regulation of events at which the sale of cannabis or cannabis products and the 4 consumption of cannabis or cannabis products by persons 21 years of age or older 5 is allowed. Section 6 of this bill designates such events as “temporary cannabis 6 events.”
Social equity applicants who were most impacted by the war on drugs would get priority when applying for licenses. Goins feels that this would remove the financial burden from what a cannabis lounge would cost, and would allow folks to get in on the money from legal cannabis.
“This is Nevada,” exclaimed Goins. “This is truly what we do: We introduce small businesses. We establish new ideologies. We are innovated when it comes to how businesses show up. So yes, I think this is the next wave.”
Similar bills have passed in states like in California. Nevada lawmakers are hopeful the bill will pass this year’s legislative session.