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If NV Legislature extends business tax, Republicans vow fight in court

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, said Thursday if Democrats try to extend the Modified Business Tax sunset and other taxes using a simple majority vote, the issue will end up in court.

He said Nevada’s constitution requires a two-thirds majority to pass “anything that increases revenue in any form.” He said that has been the ruling on sunsets in the past as well as new or increased taxes.

Settelmeyer said two-thirds is clearly required to extend the MBT rate currently scheduled to drop back down effective July 1. And, without at least one Republican, the Democratic majority is short of that mark.

Democrats have said they have an opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau’s Legal Division saying two-thirds isn’t necessary to extend an existing tax rate, only to enact a new or higher tax rate.

Settelmeyer said Democrats won’t get a single Republican to vote for the extension.

Nevada voters, he said made their intent clear when they added the two-thirds requirement to the state constitution.

Extending the MBT rate would generate more than $100 million over the biennium. Settelmeyer said the plan to extend the DMV technology fee set to sunset in 2021 also runs afoul of the two-thirds requirement. That fee, however, only generates about $7 million.

He said Democrats have made it clear they’ll do it on a simple majority vote.

“If they do that, we’ll end up in court,” said Settelmeyer.

He said he hasn’t talked with Gov. Steve Sisolak about the plan and about other parts of the recommended budget.

“I’ve talked to Joyce (Woodhouse) and Jason (Frierson) but I haven’t been invited over there,” he said motioning toward the Capitol.

Democrats have been scouring budgets and bills in the money committees looking for uncommitted cash in order to fund the $100 million needed to give teachers the 3 percent raises Sisolak promised during his campaign.

They have been doing so ever since the Economic Forum on May 1 added just $42.8 million to the total General Fund revenue they can spend this legislative session. The total General Fund available to the governor and lawmakers for the coming biennium is $8.85 billion.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spends $59 million on Lake Tahoe properties

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has joined the ranks of celebrity homeowners at Lake Tahoe.

The 35-year-old purchased two of the West Shore’s most iconic properties during the past several months, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, striking deals for the Carousel Estate and adjoining Brushwood Estate for a reported price tag of $59 million.

The Carousel Estate, located at 2340 Sunnyside Lane in Tahoe City, was put on the market for $29.5 million in November 2017, and according to the Wall Street Journal, was sold to Zuckerberg for $22 million in late 2018.

The property sits on roughly 3.5 acres, according to a past listing on Oliver Luxury Real Estate, and includes 300 feet of lake frontage, a marina-style pier and two buoys. The property’s main home has eight bedrooms and 9 ½ bathrooms along with a two-car garage. The Carousel Estate also includes a guest unit with three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a separate two-car garage.

Zuckerberg’s other purchase, the adjoining Brushwood Estate at 2360 Sunnyside Lane, was also put on the market in late 2017. The 6.2-acre estate was initially listed at $45 million, and was sold for a reported $37 million last January.

The historic property boasts 400 feet of lake frontage, a private pier and two buoys. The property has three homes, including a 6,954-square-foot main home and a 2,526-square-foot guest home, according to a past listing by Tahoe Luxury Properties, which said the site also included a 1,531-square-foot second guest home which was, at the time, in disrepair.

Adventure novelist Stuart Edward White named the property, taking inspiration from the Rudyard Kipling book “The Brushwood Boy.” White purchased the land in the 1920s, according to the listing, and used it as a retreat to write in the summer months.

Other amenities on the property include a hot tub, a wine room and a three-car garage.

The deals for the properties were kept under wraps, according to The Wall Street Journal, through the use of a limited-liability company named Golden Range, a high-end wealth manager, and a series of nondisclosure agreements, which required the listing pictures of the homes to be removed from the internet.

The two properties fall under the jurisdiction of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, according to Public Information Officer Chris Larson, meaning any potential construction would need to be approved by the agency.

“Right now there are no current permit applications on file for either of those properties,” said Larson. “But any plans that would come out, would be reviewed by the TRPA to insure that they meet the guidelines set forth in code.”

Zuckerberg is interested in a third property across the street as well, according to The Wall Street Journal, but has yet to finalize a deal.

Truckee Jobs Collective formed to assist businesses seeking year-round staff

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Finding employees to stay year round is often a challenge for businesses in the North Lake Tahoe area, and an issue that the Truckee Chamber of Commerce has set out to tackle this year. 

“The idea is to make sure employees are able to work enough hours to live here,” said Megan Hines, membership services manager for the chamber.

To aid local businesses with retention and recruitment of employees, the chamber created the Truckee Jobs Collective, a multi-faceted project aimed at addressing those issues. 

One aspect of the project is the chamber’s roundtable meetings, where employers can connect directly to each other and share their concerns with finding employees as well as the specific type of employees they need. The chamber held its first roundtable on April 30, which hosted around 30 business owners.

Hines said they had participants talk about what kind of work they were offering, how many hours they could offer and if they had employees that currently needed more work. Near the end of the meeting, employers were able to network with each other to potentially connect their employees with other businesses if they could offer additional hours. 

“It was the first time we had done this so we didn’t really know how it was going to go,” said Hines. “I can’t say we solved all the problems but it was a positive first meeting.”

With the busy summer season approaching, Hines said many of the business owners requested another meeting. In June, the chamber will host a second roundtable for employers as well as job seekers, allowing the two groups to connect directly in person. The meeting will be at held at the Tahoe Donner Public Utility District on June 17 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

In July, the chamber will also be launching a job finding website for local workers. 

“That will be a website where employers and job seekers can go on fill out profiles and find each other,” said Hines. 

The website will incorporate two factors that differentiate it from other job finding sites, Hines said. First, employers’ profiles will display a two minute video showcasing the culture of their company.

“The overarching goal of these short videos is to showcase three or four reasons why a person might want to work for you or your company,” said Hines, who is helping businesses create the videos. 

The site will also have a list of 27 options that job seekers can choose from to specify what type of employment they are looking for. These include whether or not a business offers healthcare, if the workplace is dog friendly or if the job allow employees to work remotely. 

“You can search based on perks and benefits that matter to you,” said Hines. 

Though the chamber has easily connected with business owners, Hines said they are hoping to reach as many job seekers as possible. 

“We think it’ll be easy to get employers on it because we are the Chamber of Commerce, but we want to make sure it’s a balanced website from the beginning,” she said.

Report: Lake Tahoe clarity improves by over 10 feet in 2018

Lake Tahoe’s renowned clarity experienced a dramatic improvement in 2018 compared to the previous year — a fact researchers attribute to a more mild winter.

According to data released by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center on Thursday, Tahoe’s annual clarity value improved to 70.9 feet in 2018. The number represents a 10.5-foot increase over the 2017 value.

The improvement was somewhat expected.

Clarity can swing dramatically from day to day and year to year based on a multitude of factors including heavy precipitation, which increases streamflow and leads to more sediment flowing into the lake.

As researchers noted in last year’s annual report, the convergence of extreme events — years of drought followed by one of the largest winters on record in 2016-17 — had a dramatic impact on clarity in 2017. That year researchers reported a decrease of 9.5 feet.

The major swings in clarity make long-term averages especially important.

The five-year average lake clarity is currently 70.3 feet, an increase of almost a foot from the previous five-year running average.

“In 2018, Lake Tahoe’s clarity regained the expected seasonal patterns that were disrupted by the extreme conditions of the previous year,” TERC Director Geoffrey Schladow, a professor of engineering at UC Davis, said in a press release.

Clarity is typically lowest in the summer after spring runoff brings fine sediment particles and nutrients to the lake, and warmer temperatures and more sunlight stimulate algae growth, according to TERC. The lowest individual value was 50 feet in July 2018 , while the mean summer (June-September) clarity value was 61.7 feet.

Spring runoff flows in 2018 were far lower and occurred earlier than in 2017. The quantities of suspended sediment washed into the lake from the major tributaries were 10-25% of the 2017 values, according to TERC.

The biggest driver of summer clarity was the occurrence of high concentrations of the phytoplankton species Cyclotella gordonensis. This microscopic algae has become more prevalent in Lake Tahoe in recent years. Its very small size makes it a potent scatterer of light and a major factor in annual Secchi — a 10-inch white disk used to measure clarity — depth.

Clarity tends to improve during the fall and winter months. The average winter (December-March) clarity was 73.5 feet, with one reading in March 2018 exceeding 100 feet of clarity.

“Clarity was expectedly at its lowest point in summer, and winter and fall had the highest values. Devising strategies to improve summer clarity in the long term is a high scientific priority,” Schladow said.

Thursday’s news was cheered by environmental advocacy groups.

“We are thrilled to see Lake Tahoe’s clarity improving from the all-time low of just 60 feet in 2017,” said CEO of the League to Save Lake Tahoe Darcie Goodman Collins. “These results encourage us to continue restoring critical habitat and improving our urban areas to keep pollution from entering our lake. We need to ensure Lake Tahoe is resilient to a changing climate where periods of drought followed by sporadic intense storms will be more common if we hope to Keep Tahoe Blue.”

Efforts to combat loss of clarity have been ongoing for decades at the lake.

The ultimate goal is to restore lake clarity back to its historic level of nearly 100 feet.

Among the efforts underway, the Tahoe Science Advisory Council — a body comprised of scientists from UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Nevada, Reno, the Desert Research Institute, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service — is currently finalizing a new “science to action plan.”

The plan, according to TERC, will identify key modeling and monitoring needs to more fully account for climate change impacts on lake clarity and ecological processes.

“Research shows Lake Tahoe and other inland water bodies are warming faster than the oceans and atmosphere,” Joanne Marchetta, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, said in the press release. “Seasonal weather extremes will most likely drive greater swings in clarity from year to year in the future, so it’s imperative we continue to invest in the lake’s restoration to combat new and emerging threats.”

Aided by state tax incentives, SoCal-based Berkley International latest company to hop on Reno-Sparks relocation bandwagon

RENO, Nev. — When Jeff Berkley, founder of custom molded fiber packaging company Berkley International, was hunting for a new location to expand manufacturing operations, he knew he needed to stay in the western region to service his primary customer base.

Berkley looked at multiple locations, including Las Vegas and Salt Lake City – but Northern Nevada was the best fit, he says.

“The reality is that the folks in Reno were really great to work with and very supportive,” Berkley said prior to his company’s May 17 groundbreaking at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, located just west of Reno-Sparks in Storey County.

United Construction is building Berkley International’s new 82,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Peru Drive.

“They made it a simple decision, and there were quite a bit of tax benefits,” Berkley said. “Leaving California for sure (helped), but there were additional incentives that made it way more attractive for us.”

As part of the deal to expand here, Berkley International received sales tax, modified business tax and personal property tax abatements totaling just under $180,000 from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The company is the latest of more than 40 businesses to relocate here and receive incentives. GOED offers a slew of incentives to help companies plant their flag in Northern Nevada — with the most widely known example being $1.3 billion in incentives and abatements awarded to Tesla to locate is Gigafactory at TRIC.

Companies large and small have come to expect an incentives package as part of their relocation efforts to the Silver State. Berkley says his team didn’t even need to run the numbers to know that relocating to Nevada provided the best situation.

“We use quite a bit of water, power and gas in our process, along with quite a bit of labor doing assembly for displays, and when you take those four pieces of business and look at cost structure in California versus the state of Nevada, along with the location of Reno, it was a very, very simple decision for us,” Berkley says.

Becoming ‘much more aggressive’

Incentives are just one of the many tools that help make Northern Nevada an ideal location for companies with West Coast operations.

The region has long been favored as a logistics and warehousing hub due to the fact that goods can be delivered to millions of western-region customers within a day’s drive. And while some may argue that the state is giving away too much – especially with its economy firing on all cylinders – there’s no denying that incentives have helped change the business landscape of Northern Nevada over the past five or so years.

The new businesses that have relocated here brought a plethora of high-paying jobs for skilled workers and above-average wages for unskilled employees.

More importantly, they’ve also helped diversify the regional economy, which puts Northern Nevada in a much better position to weather the next recession, says Mike Kazmierski, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

“We have been much more aggressive in attracting the companies we need to diversify our economy, from advanced manufacturing to data centers and technology companies,” he says. “Incentives have been part of the package (to lure them here). But we have sold this community much more broadly, and for the highly sought-after companies, you can sweeten the pot by helping them offset some of the costs of relocating, which is very expensive.”

Many of the companies that now call Northern Nevada home had multiple relocation options, Kazmierski adds. Incentives get their attention to take a serious look at all the many advantages this region offers. While tax abatements are a primary incentive offered by GOED, other states offer far more, Kazmierski notes.

“This state offers a fraction of what see you see in the Southeast or Midwest,” he says. “What we do here is the best use of incentives, which are tax abatements over a couple of years to allow companies to make the transition and pay fewer taxes while they get up and running.

Once their operations are at full speed, the incentives fade away and they pay their full taxes.”

Nevada’s tax incentives are geared toward helping new businesses get settled in, Kazmierski adds. Businesses still have to relocate here, scale their operations and workforces, and pay their taxes. Then they are provided with a rebate or abatement on the taxes they’ve already paid.

“You never have a clawback option,” he says. “You have to pay the taxes first in order to get the abatement.”

Taking Northern Nevada ‘to the next level’

Prior to Tesla, Northern Nevada didn’t have the track record of success it now can flaunt – rather, it had tens of thousands of residents looking for jobs, Kazmierski says.

According to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s March 2019 report, jobs in Nevada increased at 3.4 percent, the fastest rate in the nation for the sixth consecutive month. In the Reno-Sparks region, jobs increased at 5.8 percent for the month, with 13,900 new jobs added year over year.

Unemployment in Northern Nevada in March stood at 3.1 percent – a stark contrast to six years ago, when unemployment in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan statistical area was 10 percent. Regional unemployment peaked in January 2011 at 13.9 percent, with 30,879 people out of work.

Getting residents of the Truckee Meadows back to work was certainly worth the tax abatements over a period of time, Kazmierski adds.

“Offering those incentives as a reason for companies to look at us was very important,” he says. “Relocation is a very important decision, and incentives entice them to take a better look at what our community has to offer.”

“As we look at automation, artificial intelligence and all the things coming in the fourth industrial revolution, many existing jobs will go away,” Kazmierski adds. “If we don’t replace those jobs with higher-paying jobs that give people a chance to enjoy better living conditions, then our community will lose talent and youth as they leave for those better-paying jobs. Any high school or community college graduate can find a living-wage job right here in our community, and that was not the case even five years ago. If we chose to not invest in the jobs of the future by incentivizing their creation, we will not provide this state the opportunity to move to the next level.”

Dermody breaks ground on 14-acre distribution center at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

LAS VEGAS — Reno-based Dermody Properties recently broke ground on a 251,800-square-foot distribution center in North Las Vegas, the company announced May 23.

The center will be located at 6565 Nascar St. on a 14-acre site and will be called “LogistiCenter at Speedway.” It is estimated that construction will be completed by first quarter of 2020.

According to a Dermody press release, the North Las Vegas submarket offers the highest concentration of warehouse/distribution facilities in the region. This site is accessible to Interstate 15 via the Speedway Blvd. off-ramp and offers an unobstructed view from the interstate. The building is currently available for pre-leasing and is divisible to 24,300 square feet.

“This is an outstanding location for logistics-focused companies because of its ability to provide our customers with easy access to West Coast markets,“ George Condon, West Region Partner for Dermody Properties, said in a statement. “Dermody Properties has been active in the Las Vegas market since 1974 and this is another great project that will benefit southern Nevada’s economy.”

Corporate neighbors include Amazon, Sephora, Sysco Foods and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The project is represented by Garrett Toft and Sean Zaher of CBRE Las Vegas. United Construction Company will be the general contractor.

LogistiCenter is a nationally trademarked brand owned and developed by Dermody Properties.

Go here to learn more about the LogistiCenter at Speedway project.  

Spending bills worth millions working way through Nevada Legislature

CARSON CITY, Nev. — With less than two weeks to go in the 2019 Nevada Legislative session, the state’s money committees are meeting multiple times a day to process bills needed to implement the state budget for the coming two years.

In addition, they’re processing supplemental appropriations needed to cover shortfalls in this year’s budgets.

The largest of those is $130 million in SB532 Medicaid needs to cover costs in the current fiscal biennium. More than $115 million of that is federal money. Just more than $15 million comes from the General Fund.

In addition, lawmakers had to make up the K-12 per pupil funding shortfall that totals more than $27 million.

SB520 makes up $19.4 million of that through marijuana taxes and other revenues, but the state is still on the hook for $8.2 million more in General Fund revenue to pay for unanticipated enrollment growth in Nevada’s public schools. Ways and Means voted to approve SB520 Wednesday morning.

The committee also approved SB541 that makes permanent the transfer of 25 percent of Governmental Services Tax revenue to the General Fund. That was originally intended to go back to the Highway Fund at the end of this fiscal year.

Set for a hearing is SB322 to provide 10 percent pay raises for line law enforcement personnel employed by the state and 5 percent for sergeants and above. That measure would require $21 million this coming biennium.

Still waiting for a hearing is SB548 introduced just this week. The bill includes a $33 million appropriation to the Millennium Scholarship program.

Several of the measures processed Wednesday involve purchases of new vehicles by departments including Corrections, Conservation and Natural Resources and parks as well as the state motor pool.

Both Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means were planning to meet more than once Thursday and Friday as well as on Saturday morning.

Still unresolved is the fate of more than 200 other bills that require funding not included in the governor’s recommended budget. Those measures are in the two money committees waiting to see how much uncommitted revenue there is for lawmakers to spend.

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said during a hearing Wednesday morning he believes there’s upward of $100 million in available cash for some of those measures.

But the governor’s finance office and legislative fiscal staffs have yet to weigh in on that.

Panattoni Development, RHP Mechanical Systems donate to North Valleys Library

RENO, Nev. — Panattoni Development Company, in addition to RHP Mechanical Systems, announced May 21 their contribution of a hydration station to the North Valleys Library.

The newly installed hydration station is a combination filtered water drinking fountain and dispenser for filling reusable bottles.

The station encourages visitors to use more environmentally friendly containers, instead of disposable plastic bottles. RHP Mechanical Systems donated the hydration station and Panattoni Development Company donated the installation.

“It has been an honor to work with the Panattoni and RHP teams to make this gift happen for the North Valleys Library community,” said Jonnica Bowen, Branch Manager of North Valleys Library. “The library has been serving the North Valleys for more than 45 years, and consistently during that time one of the number one requests made by library users has been for a drinking fountain.

“No longer will we have to ask our customers to fill cups or prepare baby bottles from the bathroom sinks — now they can do it with our state-of-the-art, sanitary hydration station.”

The North Valleys Library, located at 1075 North Hills Blvd, Suite 340 in Reno, is a branch of the Washoe County Library System and serves many valley communities on the east and north side of Peavine Mountain. The branch went through a remodel in 2016, adding significant improvements to enhance services to visitors.

RHP Mechanical Systems prides itself on being the complete source for designing and building HVAC, plumbing, piping and radiant systems for any commercial project, large or small.

With over 65 years of experience in manufacturing and industrial facilities, hotels/casinos, low- and high-rise offices, shopping centers, food-service buildings, multiple-family dwelling and critical environment-controlled facilities have positioned RHP Mechanical Systems as the area leader in the problem-solving design, value engineering applications and cost-effective mechanical construction.

The company also offers residential services. Serving northern Nevada since 1950, RHP Mechanical Systems’ residential team combines its experience and knowledge with unparalleled customer service.

Founded in 1986, Panattoni Development Company, Inc. is one of the largest privately held, full-service development companies in the world.

Panattoni operates from 24 offices in the United States, Canada and Europe. Since inception, Panattoni has developed more than 320 million square feet of space including more than 110 million square feet of build-to-suit projects.

This article was provided to the NNBV by MN|G on behalf of Panattoni Development Company. Go to www.Panattoni.com to learn more.

NV Energy Foundation awards $49K in scholarships for Northern Nevada students

RENO, Nev. — The NV Energy and the NV Energy Foundation announced May 22 it has awarded 32 current high school seniors in Northern Nevada with the Powerful Partnership Scholarship and 13 scholarships for current community college students, providing a total of $49,000 in scholarships.

Education, along with art/culture, environment/community enhancement and safety/wellness, is one of NV Energy’s area of focus for grants and scholarships.

Since 2000, NV Energy has awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships for Northern Nevada students and nearly $1.7 million in scholarships statewide.

These scholarships support the efforts of students enrolled in higher education at any accredited university, college or trade school.  

“We are excited to be able to present and honor these high school seniors with a scholarship as they further their education,” said Carolyn Barbash, Vice President of Business Development and Community Strategy for NV Energy. “These students have shown commitment to academics, volunteerism and helping our community and we look forward to their continued successes in college and beyond.”

More than 60 students applied for scholarships. A selection committee carefully reviewed each application and made the final selections. Criteria for the Powerful Partnership Scholarship includes a resume, personal statement outlining career goals, an essay describing the value of community service and volunteer experience, as well as a letter of recommendation from a school official. The scholarship funds are administered through the Community Foundation of Western Nevada.

This article was provided by the NV Energy Foundation. Go here to learn more.

Marijuana oversight board wins broad support at Nevada Legislature

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Representatives from law enforcement to cannabis are praising a plan to regulate the recreational marijuana industry in a framework based on Nevada’s successful gaming control system.

Assembly Bill 533 would set up a Cannabis Advisory Commission and the Cannabis Compliance Board, mimicking the Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board.

The new agency would take over regulatory issues ranging from licensing to operation of dispensaries, growers, production of cannabis products and testing.

The actual tax collections from medical and retail cannabis products would remain the responsibility of the Department of Taxation.

“It’s long overdue for a Cannabis Compliance Board,” said Chuck Callaway, representing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which he said supports the new agency.

Callaway was joined by several other law enforcement agencies in supporting the plan during testimony on Tuesday, May 21, before the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

“The growth of the industry is dependent on instilling confidence,” said Fernando Leal, owner and manager of dispensaries in Reno and Carson City. “This board will do that.”

According to previous reports, the new agency would cost a minimum of $4 million to operate. The proposal would require two new unclassified positions and six classified positions, five board members and eight advisory board members.

Brin Gibson of the governor’s office, who headed the team that developed AB533, said Tuesday the regulatory structure was modeled extensively after Nevada’s Gaming Commission and Control Board, which he described as the best gaming regulatory system in the world.

One thorny issue in the mix is the coming of cannabis consumption lounges. Gibson said by and large, the issue of consumption lounges should be left to local governments — specifically county commissions. He said those bodies should set the regulations for lounges and license them but could be tougher than the state’s regulations.

Several local governments are considering authorizing consumption lounges in the wake of an LCB opinion that those lounges would not violate the statute barring public use of cannabis products because lounges aren’t public.

One of the biggest hangups facing the measure is the amendment sought by the Nevada Resort Association and major gaming companies that would bar any cannabis or marijuana licensee from setting up less than 1,500 feet from a licensed casino. That is half the distance pot companies must be away from schools.

Virginia Valentine, head of the Resort Association, said the gambling and marijuana industries are “incompatible.” She said a control board licensee could be called forward because of being too close to a cannabis business and potentially lose their license.

She said they could be called to account by federal regulators and fined or otherwise punished since all cannabis products are still illegal at the federal level.

But Lesley Cohen, D-Las Vegas, vice chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, questioned the need for that distance as well as the logic behind it.

“I don’t want our tourists driving to a consumption lounge,” she said. “I want them to be able to walk.”

Nick Vassiliadis representing the Resort association said that concern, “is valid in theory.”

But he said there are Ubers and Lyfts, taxis and other ways for those people to get to and from consumption lounges if they don’t want to walk that far.

In addition, several lobbyists said after the hearing that federal authorities wouldn’t bother a legal, licensed cannabis business operating nearby a casino.

Lawmakers were advised that AB533 is a policy implementation bill creating the board and advisory commission and empowering them to regulate the industry, instead of the Department of Taxation. They were told the money committees have already closed the Cannabis Compliance Board agency budgets.

That means any significant changes to the decisions made by the Judiciary Committee would require reopening those budgets, not something legislative or finance office staff want to do with just two weeks left in the legislative session.

Those committees delayed the start of the CCB and other parts of the new agency until January 2020 because, since recreational marijuana was legalized by popular vote in November 2016, that law can’t be changed for three years and that law directs Taxation to regulate the industry.

After that point, the whole regulatory operation can be moved out of taxation and into the newly created CCB agency.

The Judiciary Committee took no action on the bill or the more than 10 proposed amendments to it.