Beth Schwartz – Editor
It started as a low rumble in the spring. Almost imperceptible. It was a minor annoyance. It started to get louder as the weeks wore on, becoming a persistent hum that was more and more insistent in its urgency. It’s now become a steady drumbeat. One that remains to be quelled.
It’s the belief that education did not get the cannabis money it was promised when Nevadans went to the polls in November 2016 and voted to make recreational marijuana legal (Question 2). A lot of people were swayed to vote in favor of the legalization of cannabis, for that particular reason only, so schoolchildren could benefit from the lucre of cannabis.
I think the confusion began during the 2017 Legislative Session when a second tax on the cannabis industry was introduced. The first tax, a 15% Wholesale Marijuana tax paid by cultivators on both medical and adult-use marijuana, was included in the Nevada Marijuana Legalization ballot question, aka Question 2.
The second tax, a 10% Retail Tax that consumers pay on adult-use marijuana, was introduced by Governor Sandoval during his state of the state speech in 2017. Deciding where this tax should be allocated during the Legislative Session is where things got fuzzy because it was initially earmarked for education but eventually ended up going to the state’s Rainy Day fund.
Fast forward to 2018 when both elected officials and the Clark Country School District trustees held various press conferences throughout the spring to demand that the money collecting in the state’s Rainy Day fund be moved over to education where it was more urgently needed due to shortfalls resulting from lost arbitration.
The bewilderment about the education monies continued when the state didn’t immediately disperse the funds collected from the 15% Wholesale Marijuana to the Distributive School Account. But that was because they had to wait for the fiscal year to end which wasn’t until June 30, 2018. Are you confused yet? It’s like a really bad game of who’s on first.
All of this just seemed to turn up the volume on the topic as the finer details of the revenue disbursement, such as there being two taxes, seemed to get lost in the discussion muddling the issue even more. This seemingly drove the slow rumble of aggravation that started earlier this year. And it persisted. I saw posts on social media demanding to know why education wasn’t getting its money. When I was out and about I heard the constant lament. It seemed everywhere I went, from the gym to the grocery store, it was a source of frustration.
Finally, the fiscal year ended, the state calculated up the monies, and as was written in the Question 2 ballot measure, the Department of Taxation transferred a total of $27.5 million to the state Distributive School Account in August.
At last, I thought, relief was finally mine – no longer would I have to hear the peeved cries that education was not receiving its fair share of the cannabis cash. I was wrong. If anything, it’s grown even more aggrieved and insistent. While it is definitely a complicated issue to follow, perhaps, if we would have had more money for education 10 years ago the steady drumbeat of ignorance would merely be a hum.
Educate with a more informed understanding of the benefits of medicinal cannabis
When we decided to start Elevate Nevada it was a result of a wholehearted belief that an instrumental component of the medicinal cannabis debate was missing from the overall discussion. The stigma of cannabis was preventing people, who are/were suffering with major diseases or general illness, from learning about and trying marijuana alternatives that would aid in healing their bodies in an all-natural way.
We believed the market was missing a forum for discovering the positive aspects of medicinal cannabis. We wanted to create this publication to better educate the community about medicinal marijuana as another option to combat pain and illness — specifically an option that is all-natural and removes the toxicity of pharmaceuticals from the equation. In today’s world, doctors prescribe medicinal cannabis as a treatment for everything from sleeping disorders, aches and pains to PTSD and the effects of medical treatments such as chemotherapy.
With Elevate Nevada we endeavor to create a resource that presents the educational aspects of medicinal cannabis — a subject that is rapidly gaining interest in Nevada. This interest stems from the fact that as of this year, state law allows for legal dispensaries as well as the cultivation and testing of cannabis for treating medical conditions.
Our motivation to start Elevate Nevada also came from personal experience. Several of the Elevate team had family members who suffered from diseases and could have experienced great relief if medicinal cannabis had been legal and available to them. When you care about someone and are watching them suffer, every option is on the table and so we wanted to create a forum for people to investigate the option of medicinal cannabis and make informed decisions for the sake of their loved ones.
We hope you leave this site educated and with a more informed understanding of the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Guy Bertuzzi – Publisher
Socrates so sagely said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Change is here and I honestly never thought I would see cannabis, marijuana, dope, weed, pot, grass or whatever you like to call it become legal in my lifetime. But here we are Nevada–breaking ground and building the new.
For the people who are still on the fence or on the other side of the fence about the legalization of cannabis, this is your chance to understand, educate yourself, explore and learn the powers of the healing properties of this plant. Even though we use verbiage like recreational and adult-use, cannabis is still preventative medicine. Just in the last few weeks I have experienced its medicinal benefits.
In my recent travels around the state getting to know people in the industry, I was lucky enough to meet Marina and Jackie from CBD for Life, which is a line of cannabidiol (CBD) infused pain management and beauty products. elevate editor Beth Schwartz swears by CBD for Life products, remember the line from our January 2016 cover? Beth was so delighted with the results of CBD her enthusiasm resulted in the headline: “Forget smoking cannabis, we should be smearing it all over our bodies.” It was my turn to try the wonders of CBD topicals and golly gee whiz Beth was onto something. (Editor’s note: Just shaking my head over here.)
I decided to try it for an issue that has plagued me my whole life from when I was 13 years old and chunks of my scalp were falling out. Kids were making fun of me and teasing me that I had lice. I didn’t have lice, it was the beginning of a lifelong battle with psoriasis, which is on several areas of my body including my elbows and hands.
Until recently people would ask me why I had white paint on my elbows, that’s how severe psoriasis affects me. I was telling Jackie about my psoriasis and how it makes me feel a little insecure, and because I had tried everything I was doubtful anything, including CBD, would work. Jackie instructed me to loofah my problem areas and use CBD for Life’s face and body cleanser and lotion several times a day. She was right! My psoriasis looks better than it ever has–well, there’s really not much to see anymore just fresh pink skin. CBD doesn’t cure it, but you cannot see the flaky white skin, or traces of psoriasis on my hands or elbows right now.
Because it was such a transformative experience for me, I just sent my dad some Pure CBD for Life Rub for his arthritis, and he reported back, after being doubtful, that it is indeed helping. So, whatever your feelings are on Nevada’s laws and the legalization of cannabis, keep an open mind. Stop fighting the old and focus on the new because, and I hope you don’t, someday you or someone you love may need the healing benefits of cannabis.