Las Vegas Law Enforcement Arresting
Medical Marijuana Delivery Service
CALL The Wright Law Group, P.C. 702.405.0001
Since the Nevada Legislature passed laws allowing for an exemption from prosecution for the medical use of marijuana there has been a proliferation of businesses providing for the delivery of marijuana to medical marijuana patients. A search for marijuana on Craigslist for Las Vegas alone results in more than 150 advertisements for marijuana, many of them offering to deliver marijuana or marijuana products. Another internet search for Las Vegas Marijuana Delivery Services resulted in pages of links to websites providing information on delivery services, one of which identified as many as 22 delivery businesses in the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area.
These “delivery services” are getting the attention of the local law enforcement agencies and not in a good way. In a recent case involving a North Las Vegas resident, law enforcement showed up with a search warrant for his home. When law enforcement conducted a search they reportedly seized 24 pounds of marijuana, 23 handguns, more than $15,000 in cash, and hundreds of business cards for a marijuana delivery business. The resident was charged with drug possession and intent to sell marijuana and various weapons charges. In another case, a Las Vegas resident was arrested on multiple charges, including trafficking of controlled substances and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Law enforcement obtained a warrant for the individual’s residence as well as a business located in a commercial complex. In total, law enforcement reported that more than 20 pounds of marijuana, over 250 pounds of edible marijuana products, 100 pounds of THC infused products, $13,000 in cash and more than 50 guns were seized. The search warrant was purportedly based on complaints from neighboring businesses in or near the commercial complex. In both cases, the individuals were believed to be operating web-based delivery services.
There has been some justification for these “delivery services” because the legislature only recently provided for the establishment of dispensaries to serve the needs of medical marijuana patients. In the past, law enforcement has allowed these businesses to maintain their delivery business because the legislature didn’t do what the Constitution mandated was to be done in order to provide for the use of medical marijuana. The Division of Health and Human Services began issuing registry identification cards to patients without providing for a way for the patient to obtain the product. To date, despite legislation providing for dispensaries becoming effective in April 2014, there is still not a single legal marijuana dispensary operating in Clark County.
In the past, law enforcement has been proactive in going after the suppliers of these delivery services because law enforcement believes the suppliers are likely bringing the marijuana into the state illegally. However, these recent raids appear to be a transition away from the previous policy of tolerance by law enforcement agencies with respect to the delivery services themselves. One popular theory for this shift in policy is that as soon as the legitimate dispensaries go into operation, law enforcement will be encouraged to stop the delivery services because they will be interfering with the legitimate operations of the cultivation facilities and dispensaries that will be providing tax revenue to the state. These current delivery services do not pay taxes to the state.
Despite not having the state issued credentials, many medical marijuana delivery businesses are nonetheless attempting to comply with the statutes by keeping the appropriate records and verifying registry identification information of the patients they serve. Under the current statutes relating to the legal transportation of medical marijuana products an “authorized” agent is allowed to transport no more than 10 ounces of marijuana, edible marijuana or infused products. The agent is also required to keep “trip logs” and “trip plans.” The vehicle used to transport the product must not have any identification relating to marijuana and must be equipped with a secure lock box or locking cargo area. Under the statutes an “authorized” agent is, of course, an agent of a licensed cultivation facility or dispensary.
If you are engaging in medical marijuana delivery services and have been charged with violating any law, we would like to hear from you. We believe there may be defenses available that are fact specific. The Wright Law Group is a Martindale Hubble AV rated law firm and is well equipped to assist you. Please call us at 702-405-0001 to schedule a consultation.