Las Vegas Sun

October 13, 2019

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The Legislature:

Deadline leaves Nevada marijuana, prostitution measures in the dust


Chris Kudialis

Harvest’s marijuana consumption lounge, pictured on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. The lounge, located next to the company’s dispensary in west San Francisco, is one of three such open-to-the-public facilities where pot buyers can legally consume the plant.

CARSON CITY — Bills live. Bills die. The session soldiers on.

On Friday, the Legislature hit its latest major deadline, shedding bills that didn’t pass through committee and lightening the load ahead of the last month-and-a-half of the session.

There have been around 1,060 bills and resolutions filed in the Legislature, around 275 of which failed to make it past the deadline. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that are dead for the session.

• Assembly Bill 149 would have banned the death penalty in Nevada and changed all current death sentences to life without parole. As of late 2018, there were 76 death row prisoners in the state. The state’s last execution was carried out in 2006.

• Senate Bill 347 would have attempted to fix the marijuana banking problem by creating specialized banks and credit unions that would allow marijuana-based businesses limited access to banking. As of now, banks are generally loath to take on marijuana-based businesses because of concerns they would bump up against federal law.

• Assembly Bill 409 would have established guidelines around licensing a marijuana consumption lounge on a municipal level. The issue has been around since marijuana was legalized — as of now, marijuana has to be consumed on private property.

• Senate Bill 413 would have banned prostitution in the state. The bill received pushback from many of those in the sex work industry.

• Assembly Bill 437 would have allowed anyone in Nevada, not just residents, to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

• Senate Bill 389 would have banned apiaries in areas with a density of more than two homes per acre.

With the first deadline’s passage, lawmakers will have until May 17 to get bills through their second house passage — so if a bill began in the Assembly, it must pass its Senate committee by that date, and vice versa.

The number of bills that failed is not out of the ordinary. Around 255 bills failed to meet the first passage deadline in the 2017 session and around 260 failed to meet the deadline in the 2015 session.

Currently, only two bills have been signed into law through the governor’s office — a boilerplate bill that would supply funding to the session, and the controversial expansion of background checks throughout the state.