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[Captains of cannabis]

Joe Brezny & Scot Rutledge, Industry Advocates

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Joe Brezny & Scot Rutledge
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

The voice and political spokesman for the “Yes on 2” campaign to legalize cannabis, Joe Brezny stood toe-to-toe with anti-marijuana advocates from Carson City to Washington, D.C., on NPR and in the Washington Post, pushing Nevada voters to side with legalization. A slick, suit-clad, former Nevada campaign spokesman for Mitt Romney, Brezny became synonymous with legal weed in Nevada last year. “This is an all-inclusive industry and benefits workers statewide,” Brezny told the press at a Las Vegas dispensary last September.

Behind the scenes, Scot Rutledge worked with pro-pot politicians and donors to both earn endorsements for the ballot question and fundraise. When the four-month legislature rolled around earlier this year, Rutledge spoke in favor of cannabis-friendly legislation, urging lawmakers to consider the impact of business and potential pot-tax revenue on state coffers. “I was there to listen, but most of all make sure the implementation of the voters’ will was being done correctly,” Rutledge explained.

A self-proclaimed “diplomat” in Nevada’s pot industry, Rutledge has befriended folks on all sides of the marijuana discussion, insisting that the emerging industry offers enough for all parties involved to earn a slice of the pie. “I think at some point people will figure out a way to get in the space,” he said. “There’s enough to go around.”

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Chris Kudialis started at the Las Vegas Sun in 2015 after a year with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A graduate ...

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