Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is going to have to choose between public health and rural economic development as he decides whether or not to sign Assembly Bill 209. AB 209, which will allow raw milk and raw milk products produced in rural Nye County to be be sold statewide, especially into the lucrative Las Vegas market, passed the Senate on a 17-to-4 vote last week after clearing the Assembly 40-to-0. The Nevada Legislature’s adoption of AB 209 is a big win for Nye County’s Amargosa Creamery, which has planned to produce raw milk and raw milk products for the thriving Las Vegas market. Existing state law allows “certified” raw milk to be sold anywhere in the state, but raw milk produced under the authority of a county milk commission can only be sold in that county. AB 209 permits Nye County-produced raw milk and raw milk products to be sold anywhere in the state. But raw milk produced in California will no longer be able to be sold in Nevada. Organic Pastures, the nation’s largest raw milk producer located in northern California, used to sell products in the Reno/Lake Tahoe market. OP agreed to stop at the behest of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which bans interstate sales of raw milk. In April 2012, the Nye County dairy announced a raw milk business plan that it said would initially involve ten milk cows, with the potential to expand to up to 60. Nye County is located immediately north of Vegas. The plan to expand raw milk sales into Nevada’s largest metropolitan area has been opposed by Mike Willden, who has served the last three governors including Sandoval was the director of of Health and Human Services. He is responsible for oversight of the largest department in Nevada state government, with approximately 5200 employees and 29 percent of the budget. The Republican governor, Sandoval, is a former federal court judge.