Governor Sisolak, Director Young Move for Greater Transparency in Marijuana Licensing Program with Senate Bill Amendment

CARSON CITY, NV - March 26, 2019

Today, Governor Steve Sisolak and Department of Taxation Executive Director Melanie Young called for increased transparency in marijuana program licensing with the introduction of an amendment to SB32 during the bill’s hearing in the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development.

SB32 revises provisions relating to confidentiality of records and files in the custody of the Department of Taxation. The amendment, offered by the Department of Taxation on behalf of Gov. Sisolak in today’s hearing, would exempt certain scoring and ranking documentation, including evidence of scoring methodologies for marijuana establishment applications, from confidentiality requirements – with the exception of certain personal, investigative, and proprietary information as already defined by law. The amendment will allow qualifying documents received by the Department of Taxation on or after May 1, 2017 to be disclosed for purposes of transparency.

“This amendment is an important step in a multi-pronged approach to greater transparency in marijuana licensing under my administration,” Governor Sisolak said. “As our legal marijuana industry has evolved and flourished, it’s more important than ever that the industry and the public enjoy the benefits of a completely open and transparent process from licensing to operation so that our marijuana industry can become the gold standard in the nation.”

“I share Governor Sisolak’s commitment to increasing transparency within the marijuana licensing process,” Director Young said. “I look forward to working alongside the governor’s office and the legislature to implement this and other needed reforms to shed more light on how marijuana licenses are issued.”

Under current law, marijuana company information is highly confidential, initially because of marijuana’s medical application, but also to protect taxpayer information as required by Nevada law. Under the amendment offered today, information about an applicant for a marijuana license, as well as information concerning the application approval process – including methodology used to score and rank applicants and the final rankings of all applicants – would be subject to disclosure.

Today’s amendment represents the next step in a multi-pronged approach to transparency in marijuana licensing Gov. Sisolak has spearheaded. Earlier this year, Gov. Sisolak created an advisory panel to form the Cannabis Compliance Board, which will work to regulate and grow Nevada’s emerging marijuana industry into the future.