KUNR at the moment: Hashish Lounge laws is again on the desk, warmth waves might disrupt future harvests

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KUNR today: Cannabis Lounge legislation is back on the table, heat waves could disrupt future harvests

Here are your local headlines for Monday morning April 5th, 2021.

Hear the headlines on the morning news for Monday April 5, 2021.

Legislators mull cannabis consumption lounges, again
From Paul Boger

A bill would pave the way for cannabis use lounges across Nevada.

Under AB341, customers bought or brought their own packaged cannabis products to consume inside, much like they would in bars. Under current law, it is illegal to consume a pot anywhere in public.

The Democratic MP Steve Yeager from Las Vegas presented the measure to the judiciary committee of the assembly on Friday. He said it was about economic development and equity as much as it was about cannabis use.

“The goal is not to define what is possible with these business models, but to provide operational requirements and protective measures that will prove to be the basis for a well-regulated consumer lounge,” he said.

Legislators have been pushing for the legalization of cannabis use lounges since recreational cannabis became legal in 2017. All previous attempts have failed.

California to allow indoor gatherings when virus cases decline
From the Associated Press

California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances, and other private gatherings beginning April 15.

The California Department of Health announced the changes on Friday as the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus nears a record low. How many people can attend events depends on the restrictions that apply in the individual counties. And capacity will increase when people can show they are fully vaccinated.

The governor’s office says the plan is an incentive for more people to get vaccinated, but it also raises privacy and equity issues.

Nevada regulators tie the casino’s capacity to vaccinating workers
From the Associated Press

Nevada regulators say casinos seeking the right of the state to increase the current gambling space occupancy limit above 50% must take steps to encourage their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission issued a policy memo on Friday urging casinos to give employees paid time off for vaccination, coordinate transportation to vaccination sites, and make distribution agreements with pharmacy companies of vaccines to hit.

On March 15, the state increased the maximum occupancy of the playing area from 25% to 50% of the capacity. The supervisory authorities were empowered from May 1st to approve reopening plans with higher occupancy limits.

Gaming Caucus is pushing for the sports betting tax to be lifted
From KUNR employees

The Congressional Gaming Caucus – a group whose members represent states with legal gambling – is pushing for a bill to repeal the “handle tax” for sports betting.

As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the move would eliminate the 0.25% excise tax on legal sports betting as well as an annual tax of $ 50 for every employee who works for a sports betting company.

The effort is being led in part by caucus co-chair Dina Titus, Nevada’s 1st District Congressman. The caucus argues that the economic impact of the pandemic is a reason to end the financial burden on gambling establishments.

Nevada paid more than $ 13.3 million in taxes in 2019. According to Titus, this is more than any other state.

Heat waves threaten plants faster than gradual global warming
By Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

The impact of heat waves on food crops could be ten times greater than previously thought, and that means we could see a 10% loss in agricultural crops. That’s behind a recent study, according to Steve Miller, the lead researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

“It’s getting harder to turn this into a dollar amount because we should have a realistic forecast of total agricultural production 80 years from now,” Miller said.

To give an idea, Miller said France recorded an economic loss of nearly $ 400 billion after a 2003 heat wave.

He added that informing farmers about the changing climate is a way to contribute to prevention efforts.

“You know, water can help plants deal with heat stress. If we can provide better and more realistic forecasts for these farmers and help them understand the benefits and best uses of water, it can also help reduce some of the harm. ” he said.

Miller said he was scared but was also optimistic.

“I think there is a lot of room for us in terms of adaptation and mitigation to make these scary numbers smaller.”

Biden’s plan would spend $ 16 billion cleaning old mines and oil wells
From the Associated Press

President Joe Biden’s plan to remodel America’s infrastructure provides $ 16 billion to plug old oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned mines.

Hundreds of thousands of “orphaned” oil and gas wells, as well as disused coal and hard rock mines, pose a serious safety risk and cause ongoing environmental damage. The government sees the long-standing problem as an opportunity to create jobs and eliminate pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Many of the old wells and mines are in rural communities that have been hard hit by the pandemic. Some websites have been unattended for decades.

Las Vegas athlete competing for the national title
From Noah Glick

One of Nevada’s own will compete for the NCAA men’s national basketball championship on Monday night.

Newcomer Julian Strawther is a guardian of the Gonzaga Bulldogs who battle the Baylor Bears for the title. Originally from Las Vegas, Strawther attended Liberty High School, where he became the school’s all-time leader in scores and rebounds.

Stanford defeated Arizona 54:53 on Sunday to take the national women’s title.