Though proponents and state/federal legislators want to keep medical marijuana a strictly clinical endeavor by blocking the option to buy weed online as regulation of online sales is a difficult process, it seems the gaming industry has been getting involved behind the scenes. Considering out of the 18 dispensaries in Clark County, Nevada; three of them have direct connections to an individual in the gaming business. Medical marijuana big wigs and Nevada gaming regulators have since told the industry to stay out of medical marijuana.
Meanwhile, Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp. poured $2.5 million into fighting a Constitutional amendment change that would make medical marijuana legal in Florida. The subject got enough signatures and has since been moved to the ballot for a vote by Florida state residents in November’s election. The Nevada Gaming Control Board sent a notice to gaming license holders and applicants that they are to have nothing to do with medical marijuana. They also reminded these license holders that under federal law, possession and distribution is still a crime. At a public hearing, The Nevada Gaming Commission supported the board’s decision. It’s important to note that three of five board members never voted on this. They had to rescue themselves, as they were somehow connected with one or more of the 79 dispensary applications currently pending in Nevada.
There was a dissenting voice at the hearing, Steve Sisolak, Chairman of the Clark County Commission testified that since gaming license holders had been through a stringent vetting process already, we’re well-positioned over other applicants to have a hand in the state’s burgeoning medical marijuana business. The regulators did not seem to agree. Dispensary applications were processed and approved for those businesses whose management or owners attorneys and business people many of which have family members or work in the gaming industry.
Medical marijuana became legal in the state of Nevada back in 2000. 66 dispensaries were approved in 2013 by the state legislature. Adelson on the other hand was asked by a friend who runs the Drug-Free Florida Committee, an organization that wants to fight the November ballot initiative in Florida. Furthermore, Adelson’s wife runs a bunch of drug rehab centers both in the Las Vegas area and in Israel. The Adelson’s apparently consider marijuana a gateway drug.
A recent poll shows that two-thirds of Florida residents support medical marijuana, while the state’s conservative lawmakers oppose it. Republican Governor Scott Walker recently approved the use of CBD oil, a low THC medical marijuana-based product used to fight severe childhood epileptic conditions.