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Nevada Gaming Commission discusses marijuana on casino properties

The Nevada Gaming Commission held a special hearing to discuss the state's legalization of marijuana and gaming industry policy. (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

While legal sales of recreational marijuana started in Nevada on July 1, the state's biggest money maker -- the casino industry -- is still grappling with how to deal with the new green industry.

The Nevada Gaming Commission discussed a variety of pot related issues at a special hearing Thursday afternoon.

The commission meeting was not intended to set any new policies but to discuss how the casino industry interprets the law when it comes to marijuana -- specifically the glaring discrepancy between state and federal law.

RELATED | All things pot in Nevada

While pot sales have been legal in Las Vegas since July, public consumption of marijuana is still outlawed. That poses a big problem for Nevada -- which hosts millions of visitors on the Las Vegas Strip where casinos answer to the federal government, which still considers pot both dangerous and illegal.

The Nevada Gaming Commission spoke about the issue for only the third time in three years on Thursday.

One big lingering question: how to interpret the voter approved law, including whether a hotel room should be considered a public space or not.

Commission Chairman Tony Alamo stressed the need for the casino industry to stay far away from Nevada's new marijuana industry, citing fear of federal government intervention.

"On one hand you have the gaming industry and on the other hand you have the marijuana industry ... the two shall not meet," said Alamo.

Several other commissioners voiced critical concerns about the prospect of casino properties hosting conventions that promote marijuana.

"There is no upside to a handful of dollars over a weekend and there is a downside in the damage you can do to the integrity of the industry and the state," said one commissioner.

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