Recreational marijuana sales in Nevada began last July amidst a hurried implementation of rules and a declared state-of-emergency. Nevada’s marijuana regulator, Deonne Contine, played a large role in navigating Nevada to a smooth operating cannabis industry. Now that the cannabis industry in Nevada has gained traction and is operating well, Deonne Contine is resigning her post to pursue a potentially more financially fruitful career in the private sector.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said today that Deonne Contine will leave Feb. 9 to pursue an opportunity in the private sector. He says he’ll name her successor in the near future.

Sandoval says Contine’s experience, skills and hard work served the state well as she oversaw the implementation of several regulatory programs in recent years. The biggest was the sale of recreational marijuana that became legal in July under a voter-approved initiative.

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Nevada is familiar with restricted industries and perhaps they set a good example for other states trying to regulate their marijuana markets by selecting marijuana regulators that actually oppose the legalization of cannabis.

“It has been the greatest honor to serve in his administration and to serve the citizens of Nevada,” Contine said in a statement. “We have all done some great work together at the Department — most recently, standing up the entire marijuana industry regulatory and taxation program. Department staff have always stepped up and shown how it is the dedicated public servants that make an agency successful. I am proud to have been a part of it.”

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Nevada still has some issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana that they need to work out. Much of the marijuana economy in Nevada comes out of Las Vegas and therefore from tourists. While adult tourists in Nevada can purchase legal marijuana, there is no place for them to consume marijuana legally. It is prohibited to use marijuana in public and the casinos have been too nervous about federal regulations to allow guests to smoke marijuana in the hotel. There has been some discussion about allowing marijuana lounges but nothing has come of it yet.