Nevada’s legalization of marijuana law came into effect on July 1, and the state has already nearly run out of its legal weed supply.
Governor Brian Sandoval has even supported the state’s Department of Taxation “statement of emergency” and the department’s plan for a “emergency marijuana regulation,” according to USA Today. This emergency regulation is to be voted on this Thursday.
What a time to be alive.
The issue seems to be a bureaucratic one, mostly stemming from rules that the state of Nevada initially imposed on legal marijuana sales. The state legalized recreational weed last year in November, but wholesale alcohol distributors were given exclusive rights to sell weed for the first 18 months of sales. Nevada’s Department of Taxation received seven applications from such stores but has had trouble reviewing and accepting them, mostly because of incomplete applications and zoning issues, according to Deonne Contine, a Department Executive Director.
"We continue to work with the liquor wholesalers who have applied for distribution licenses, but most don’t yet meet the requirements that would allow us to license them. Even as we attempted to schedule the final facility inspection for one of the applicants this week, they told us their facility was not ready and declined the inspection. As of mid-day Friday, not one distribution license has been issued," Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the department, told USA Today.
But it is in the state’s best interest to get this issue sorted quickly and efficiently. Between just Saturday and Tuesday of last week, the Nevada Dispensary Association estimated that dispensaries made $3 million and the state made $1 million in tax revenue.
This money is not only helping to create a brand new market and throwing new life into businesses, but the state is also reaping the rewards. 15 percent of the revenue from the cultivation tax goes toward’s the state’s schools, and 10 percent of the money made from sales tax goes toward’s Nevada’s rainy day fund, meaning it can be employed in a variety of different situations.
“Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to retail stores will result in many of these people losing their jobs and will bring this nascent market to a grinding halt. A halt in this market will lead to a hole in the state’s school budget,” Klapstein said.