Note: We have amended this article to include a response at the bottom of this article from George Jage, President & Publisher, of Marijuana Business Daily & Marijuana Business Conference & Expo.
The cannabis industry’s largest conference, the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, will take place at the Rio in Las Vegas next month for the third consecutive year, but the venue’s owner, publicly-traded Caesar’s Entertainment (NYSE: CZR), has issued a memo to employees, according to Hoban Law Group, which shared a memo in its weekly email newsletter. The memo indicates that individuals will be turned over to law enforcement if they are found to be in possession of an illegal controlled substance “when the quantity of narcotics exceeds personal one time use.”
Nevada has legal medical cannabis (with reciprocity for out-of-state cardholders), and its voters may approve a ballot initiative in the election on November 8th, but public consumption is not legal. The conference policies clearly state that “the use, distribution, or sale of any products containing THC is strictly prohibited at the event, in the exhibit hall, conference sessions, or any other function space where the event is conducted…”
Here is the memo:
I want to stress a mandatory position and observation made by GCB Enforcement Division both personally to Caesars and at the Zone Meeting.
If a Club Venue employee observes an individual (guest or co-worker) with Narcotics, that observation is required to result in the detaining of that individual for either trespass or investigation of illegal controlled substance. The Club Venue does NOT have the discretion to only trespass an individual when the quantity of narcotics exceeds personal one time use. That individual is to be detained, evidence properly seized and held in custody and the individual is to be turned over to Metro or GCB for prosecution. The Club does NOT have the authority or discretion to trespass and walk out a guest who has more narcotics on him than he can use personally one time.
Any such procedures should cease immediately and the guest should be handled as an arrest with immediate referral to law enforcement.
All above described behavior or discretion exercised by a Club Venue Employee is aiding and abetting a felony and the employee in such instances will be held accountable for those actions and reported to the GCB for the violation.
This procedure has no exceptions. We need to understand this is the intent of the Club Venue Regulations to clean up drugs in the Clubs, not push the problem to the street.
Caesars has a zero tolerance for such employee behavior, the trespasses of a guest, when the guest has more narcotics than personal one-time use in their possession.
Dear New Cannabis Ventures,
Your article titled “Caesars Plans to Crack Down on Cannabis Consumption at Industry Conference in November” is misleading to potential attendees at MJBizCon.
This is not specific to Caesars properties, cannabis, or MJBizCon.
The enforcement and regulation of nightclubs was recently moved the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB). They have issued state wide notice to all gaming operators regarding their policy on nightclubs at all gaming properties.
This is not a change in policy by GCB. The change is that it now also applies to nightclubs.
GCB has made clear in previous comments and actions that its stance on cannabis is that it is a federally illegal substance. Gaming licenses are one of the most scrutinized and strict licenses in the United States and require federal law compliance. With $11.1 billion in gaming revenue in 2015 is the State of Nevada, all gaming properties will treat their guidance with great weight.
These rules have always been in place in the casinos. Their goal is to not allow third party club owners to turn a blind eye to black market drug trafficking by merely kicking those selling black market drugs out of the club and pushing the problem to the street.
The Marijuana Business Conference & Expo is held in professional conference space – not a ‘club’.
The GCB notification and resulting Caesars internal employee memo was specific to nightclubs at gaming properties. The clear intent is to manage a growing problem with the distribution of drugs at nightclubs. These tend to be MDMA (ecstasy, molly), cocaine, or methamphetamine (i.e. crystal meth). As a high profile example, in 2013, the Palms Hotel paid the GCB $1 million to settle a 17-count complaint that involved employees at a nightclub selling drugs and offering prostitutes to an undercover officer.
Marijuana Business Conference & Expo is a professional business event.
Make no mistake, our industry is and will continue to be under extreme scrutiny. And in such, Marijuana Business Conference & Expo has maintained clear rules for our event that make each attendee responsible for their compliance with state and federal laws regarding use of cannabis. Almost every hotel, casino, and venue in the United States does not allow for narcotics use, any more than it would allow someone to buy alcohol from an unlicensed vendor. As common sense, we encourage all attendees to respect the rules of the event, the hotel, the city and state.
President & Publisher
Marijuana Business Daily & Marijuana Business Conference & Expo