Nevada faces complaints about secrecy in awarding licenses to sell marijuana in the state’s booming legal marketplace, boiling over into lawsuits and legislation that appear poised to pry open the process.
Several companies have sued the state tax department, arguing that no one knows for sure the criteria officials use to award new licenses. They complain the state releases no information about who seeks and receives permission to sell cannabis to adults, many of them tourists, in the nearly 2-year-old market.
They will ask a judge Monday to freeze the granting of marijuana dispensary licenses, at least temporarily, until the courts decide whether it’s “arbitrary and capricious and violates the constitution,” one lawsuit says.
The hearing will focus on a second wave of dispensaries approved in December to open into an evolving regulatory environment where local lawmakers are considering allowing pot lounges on or near the Las Vegas Strip.
The companies say Nevada unconstitutionally picked winners and losers from 462 applicants for 61 new dispensary, cultivation, laboratory and production licenses. [Read more at TIME]