Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday announced plans to form a multi-agency task force to investigate issues surrounding the legalized marijuana industry.
He said he was outraged by news that a Ukrainian national attempted to influence Nevada’s elections to gain a marijuana license in the state.
That news came in the indictments of two of Rudy Giuliani’s operatives on charges of violating federal election laws. The indictments stated that one of them, Igor Fruman, contributed $10,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Adam Laxalt and another $10,000 to Attorney General Candidate Wes Duncan.
Duncan immediately returned the money on hearing its source.
“Yesterday’s indictments and their connection to Nevada, in combination with ongoing issues in Nevada’s legalized marijuana industry — such as illegal sales to minors, serious allegations of manipulated lab results and a licensing process mired in litigation — have led the governor to expedite regulatory and enforcement measures,” said the governor’s office in a statement.
The statement said those issues were intended to be implemented by the Governor’s Cannabis Compliance Board but will now be handled by the task force in the interest of time and public health and safety.
The task force, according to the statement, will “root out any potential corruption or criminal influences in Nevada’s marijuana marketplace, effective immediately.”
Any licensed or unlicensed marijuana business violating the law “will see swift and severe criminal and regulatory action.”
Sisolak also made clear his disappointment with the lack of oversight form the state that led to this situation, including the apparent lack of a single criminal referral by the Marijuana Enforcement Division since medical and recreational marijuana sales became legal in Nevada.