Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., declared a state of emergency last week on the matter. Their goal is to figure out new rules that will remedy the shortage of the marijuana. Nevada’s Department of Taxation announced in a statement that they will consider emergency regulations that would permit more liquor wholesalers to cash in on marijuana sales.
In their statement they wrote, “Based on reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industry’s expectations at the state’s 47 licensed retail marijuana stores and the reality that many stores are running out of inventory, the Department must address the lack of distributors immediately. Some establishments report the need for delivery within the next several days.”
The hope is that they can find a way to allow more applicants to be considered for distribution and licensing. If more businesses are licensed to transport recreational marijuana from cultivation and packaging facilities to the dispensaries, then there will be more pot for everyone. More pot for everyone means more money for the state of Nevada and more happy people.
When the legalization of marijuana was passed in November, liquor distributors in Nevada were promised that they would have “sole rights” for selling the drug for 18 months. According to The Department of Taxation, a lot of these businesses have not yet met the requirements needed to sell. The wholesalers have applied for distribution licenses but they have not yet been approved.
There have been many roadblocks when reviewing applicants. A statement from Department Executive Director Deonne Contine stated that most of the issues were because of incomplete applications and/or zoning issues. They are continuing to work with the wholesalers to remedy the problem.
According to Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the Department of Taxation,
"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.”
So what about my local weed store? So, yes, these dispensaries that once were only allowed to sell medical marijuana can now sell recreational marijuana to you. The problem is, is that legally they must be getting the drug from a licensed distributor and if they are having trouble getting licensed then.... the cycle continues.
When the law first passed, the department attempted to get a head start on any issues in regards to distribution. They planned to open the application process up to businesses that had already been transporting medical marijuana to these dispensaries. This was shut down in an eleventh-hour court battle that that ordered the department to only to accept applications from wholesale alcohol distributors.
Because people are have trouble getting licensed as mentioned before, these weed stores are left with very little supply. This doesn’t just affect some stoner kid who can’t get his hands on weed. This is a much bigger problem.
"The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state," the Department of Taxation's statement continued. “They have hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the demands of the market. 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."
The legalization of recreational pot in Nevada was approved in November. Other states with legal marijuana are Colorado, Washington and Alaska. In order to buy the stuff, you need to be 21 years old with a valid ID.
Those who are of age are able to purchase up to an ounce of pot at dispensaries. You can only smoke it in your home. If you are caught smoking in a public place or in your car, you could face a misdemeanor citation and a $600 fine.
Earlier this week, the Nevada Dispensary Association estimated that dispensaries made about $3 million in sales between Saturday and Tuesday. They also believe that the state made about $1 million in tax revenue in those same few days. That’s a whole lot of money.
So, where does all this money go? 15 percent of the taxes made from marijuana sales goes towards local schools. 10 percent goes to the state’s rainy day fund. Keep smoking, guys! The schoolchildren's education depends on it.