event recaps


2019 Cannabis industry award luncheon

December 5, 2019

Event Photos by Joe Durkin

Licensees, elected officials, NDA members, and other stakeholders came together on December 5th to celebrate the contributions of John Ritter, Andrew Jolley, and Senator Yvanna Cancela to Nevada’s cannabis industry.

NDA was proud to announce the completion of the 2019 Charitable Contributions Report, the result of voluntary information sharing on behalf of many licensees and ancillary companies. NDA Executive Director Riana Durrett, Esq. also announced the formation of the Nevada Can Committee, a political action committee which will assume the duties and responsibilities relating to political fundraising and campaign contributions that NDA currently performs. Board members include Tisha Black, David Goldwater, Ben Sillitoe, Brett Scolari, Brandon Wiegand, and Riana Durrett. The formation of the NCC will ensure that Nevada’s industry continues to accomplish the goals and objectives most important in building and sustaining growth, safety, and reasonable policies for cannabis in the state.


2018 Marijuana Policy Summit

Las Vegas: May 30, 2018 | Reno: June 6, 2018


Amanda Connor, Esq.

Amanda Connor is a partner at Connor & Connor PLLC. She practices in the area of regulatory compliance, focusing on the marijuana industry. Amanda’s writings appear in numerous publications and she is a professor and member of several industry organizations. in her limited free time, Amanda enjoys time with family.

Andrew Jolley

Andrew Jolley, a native of Southern Nevada, has been involved in the marijuana industry since medical sales were first legalized in 2013. his background is in commercial real estate lending, finance, and investments. Andrew is the founder and CEO of the Source dispensaries and has served as the President of the Nevada Dispensary Association since 2016. he remains committed to serving medical marijuana patients and to helping Nevada’s marijuana industry grow in a regulated and responsible environment.

Commissioner George Burns

George E. Burns was appointed as Commissioner of the Nevada Financial Institutions Division (NFID) in July of 2007. Prior to his appointment as NFID Commissioner, George had 28 years of experience in bank operations; compliance; audit and regulatory risk management at various small, medium, and large financial institutions, including Business Bank of Nevada, Community Bank of Nevada, Comstock Bank, Bank of America, Security Pacific Bank, and Nevada National Bank.

James Green

James Green served 21 years with the Henderson Police Department and retired as a captain. today, James works with Nevada Pure Dispensary.

Professor Francine Lipman

Professor Lipman is a professor of law at William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV and an elected member of the American Law institute, the American College of tax Counsel, the American bar foundation, and an active member in the tax Section of the American bar Association. In 2016, Governor Brian Sandoval appointed Professor Lipman to serve as a Nevada tax Commissioner. Professor Lipman writes extensively on tax, poverty, and accounting issues for legal and business journals and is a frequent speaker on tax topics. This summer, in collaboration with UNLV’s radio station, she will launch Tuesday Tax Tips & Traps, a morning commute program.

Brian Irvine

Brian Irvine is a partner at Dickinson Wright PLLC. Brian is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV. Brian’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, appeals, and creditors’ rights. Brian is a member of the Cannabis Working Group at Dickinson Wright and represents a number of cannabis clients on regulatory, government affairs, and litigation matters.

John Ritter

John A. Ritter has been a resident of Nevada for 30 years and has been actively involved in the real estate industry for more than 35 years. Mr. Ritter was integrally involved int he successful recreational marijuana campaign as a fund raiser and spokesperson. Mr. Ritter currently serves as a board member of the Council for a Better Nevada and as the Chairman of the Governor’s Nevada Advisory Council on Federal Assistance. He was also appointed by the Governor as the only non-lab marijuana industry representative on Governor Sandoval’s Task Force for the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana. He is the co-founder of the Ritter Charitable Trust, which has given millions of dollars in grants and gifts to dozens of local charitable organizations that seek to make life better for children and families in Southern Nevada.

Bob Groesbeck

Bob Groesbeck is a co-founder and the current co-CEO of MM Development Company, Inc. doing business as Medizin and Planet 13. The company is vertically-integrated with operations in Las Vegas and Beatty, Nevada.

Director William Anderson

William Anderson was appointed by Governor Sandoval as the Executive Director of the Department of Taxation in 2018. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Economist for the State Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation since 2006 where he provided economic and labor market analyses and commentaries to assist public and private decision makers. Before his tenure with DETR, Bill worked as an economist with the state budget office for 10 years. he has more than 35 years of experience as an economist and statistician, including time with the City of Milwaukee, Pennsylvania State University, Indiana Department of Commerce, and the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. Bill earned a master’s degree in economics from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Michigan.

Beth Schwartz

Beth Schwartz is the editor of Elevate Nevada, a monthly cannabis magazine launched in April 2015 by Elevation Publishing. Elevate’s mission is to foster the cannabis conversation in Nevada by providing a channel for connecting, educating, and offering an informed understanding surrounding the healing compounds of cannabis. Elevate’s most recent accolades include winning first place for Best Magazine Cover and Best Website at the 2017 Nevada Press Awards.

Armen Yemenijdian

Armen Yemenijdian is a founder and owner of the three essence Cannabis Dispensaries in Southern Nevada, including a Strip location, and Desert Grown Farms cultivation facility. Armen is the former Vice President of Marketing and Operations for the Tropicana. Armen has been involved in building Nevada’s strict regulations and accountability for the industry since its inception in 2013.


Marijuana Economic & fiscal benefit analysis RECAP

Prepared by RCG Economics on behalf of the Nevada Dispensary Association

October 26, 2018 | Event Photos by Joe Durkin

Following months of data collection commissioned by the Nevada Dispensary Association, RCG Economics presented the results of a thorough marijuana economic impact report to state representatives, press and industry leaders on Oct. 26th.

Nevada Dispensary Association Executive Director Riana Durrett began the presentation, introducing NDA president Andrew Jolley and noting that the report finds in favor of Nevada’s regulatory system.

“The report makes clear that Nevada citizens and consumers are the winners in Nevada as it relates to marijuana. With real seed to sale tracking being administered by the State and significant tax collection at the State and local level, the industry is operating safely while delivering millions of dollars to State and local government coffers despite significant operating costs for the licensees.”

Focusing on taxes and legal marijuana sales, NDA president Andrew Jolley spoke on the State of Marijuana in Nevada, alongside NDA Board Member John Ritter and Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom.

“Legal marijuana sales numbers are significant because many people would prefer to buy tested products from safe sources, but what people don’t often hear about are the significant expenses and taxes paid at each level of government by the businesses,” Jolley said. “I hope we can continue to shed light on those dynamics as well as the economic benefits to the state.”


From left to right: Nevada Dispensary Association President Andrew Jolley, RCG Economics’ John Restrepo, NDA Executive Director Riana Durrett, NDA Board Member John Ritter, Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom

“The margins are very tight. At the end of the day, the tax rate for our business is 30 percent or more. Our biggest competitor is not each other. Our biggest competitor is the black market, by a long shot,” Ritter said. “We are probably the highest-taxed industry in the state. We can’t raise taxes. We just can’t. Not only won’t we survive. We’ll just push more and more to the black market.”
Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom spoke of dedication to supporting the medical marijuana program as well as of outside concerns regarding education funding, saying:

“The truth is all the money that’s been raised is going to education on some level. Starting this next legislative session, we’ll have it more transparent. We’ll actually say, ‘Here’s $100 million from marijuana that goes to the school district.’ That part’s been missing because it just goes into a big fund.”

The NDA was joined by members of the industry, various stakeholders, press and lawmakers, including Senator Joyce Woodhouse, Senator Yvanna Cancela, Senator Dave Parks, former Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, University Regent Candidate Laura Perkins, NDA Board Members Ben Sillitoe and David Goldwater, and Director of Taxation Bill Anderson.


Denver fact finding delegation

Hosted by the Nevada Dispensary Association

June 23-24, 2016

In June 2016, a Nevada delegation organized by Nevada Dispensary Association Executive Director, Riana Durrett, Esq, traveled to Denver to study Colorado’s best policy practices with regards to both Nevada’s medical cannabis industry and the potential for regulating adult use.

The delegation was made up of key members of state and local government, as well as industry experts committed to the development of good state policy and corporate responsibility. The delegation’s primary goal was to understand how Colorado implemented tax and regulatory structures while managing and addressing issues of DUI, addiction prevention, education, and other best practices/policies.

The delegation met with Representative Jonathan Singer, a leader in the sponsorship of Colorado’s medical and recreational cannabis legislation, and Andrew Freedman, Governor’s Director of Marijuana Coordination, whose mission was to ensure the efficient and effective regulation of Colorado’s retail and medical cannabis while promoting public health, maintaining public safety, and keeping cannabis out of the hands of children. The delegation also met with Elyse Contreras, program supervisor for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education, which oversees public education campaigns that are largely funded by canna tax revenue, and Molly Lotz, developer of Colorado’s education and prevention program, which was aimed at junior and high school students.

The trip served to educate both industry and Nevada lawmakers, who worked in conjunction with John Hudak of the Brookings Institute to ensure that the Nevada’s legislators were prepared to address how Nevada should approach the regulation and taxation of cannabis while ensuring that taxes properly fund education and public health.


Senator Patricia Farley

State of Nevada, District 8


Assemblyman Derek Armstrong

State of Nevada, District 21


Assemblyman Nelson Araujo

State of Nevada, District 3


Deonne Contine

Director of the Department of Tax


A.J. DeLap

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer


Julie Monteiro, RN

National Cannabis Nurse


Joe Pollock

Deputy Director of Division of Public and Behavioral Health

Mona Lisa Samuelson

Patient Advocate


Amanda Conner, Esq.



Maggie McLetchie, Esq.



John Ritter

NDA Board Member


Dave Marlon

Addiction Treatment Specialist


Suzanne Dolembo Warren

City of Las Vegas Business Licensing Compliance Manager


Riana Durrett, Esq.

Executive Director, NDA


Barbara Brohl

Colorado Department of Revenue


Mike Van Dyke

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment


Erin Flynn

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment


Elyse Contreras

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Mike Elliott

Marijuana Industry Group


Andrew Freedman

Marijuana Coordination, State of Colorado


Major Steve Garcia

Colorado State Patrol

Dr. Rebecca Helfand

Colorado Office of Behavioral Health


Marc Condojani

Colorado Office of Behavioral Health


Dr. Miles Light

Colorado University/Marijuana Policy Group


Molly Lotz

Marijuana Education Initiative

Adam Orens

Marijuana Policy Group


Representative Jonathan Singer

State of Colorado, District 11


John Vecchiarelli

Colorado Department of Taxation