Red Alert: The Weed’s Gone!
On July 1st, 2017, Nevada–the fifth state to legalize weed–officially opened recreational marijuana dispensaries. Scores of people waited for the doors to open at 12:01 AM. Within a few days, the cannabis sales brought in $3 million and an estimated $1 million in tax revenue. Of the $1 million, 15% will go towards school and 10% towards the state’s rainy day funds.
Sounds absolutely astonishing for the Silver State, we are so proud.
That is, until a state of emergency was declared due to a shortage of weed!
The industry was stunned at the demand, but couldn’t manage the supply. A ~high~ amount of people buying, and not enough licensed distributors.
Too Many Laws, So Little Weed
When Nevada passed the law to legalize recreational marijuana back in November 2016, they set strict regulations. Not only would medical marijuana establishments become licensed to sell, but liquor stores could apply as well.
But when the stores opened on July 1st, they realized NONE of the liquor distributors had obtained the license. And, of the 47 licensed retail marijuana stores, a majority are running out of inventory.
Without the distribution licenses, the department is unable to transport, cultivate, and package marijuana. They cannot meet every dispensaries supply and demand. The reality is, many of the distributors applying for the license do not meet state regulations. As a result, many stores could crash and people lose their jobs. The Department of Taxation released a statement, “Without the retail sale of marijuana, the state will not realize the revenue on which the State budget relies.”
There is hope yet!
In this state of emergency, the department is considering an emergency marijuana regulation that could alleviate the shortage. With the lack of legal marijuana supply, the state fears the public will turn back to the black market for marijuana. The new Emergency Regulation will quickly provide the adequate distributors with a license to sell. The statement reads, the Emergency Regulation “will prevent reversion to the black market and preserve the legal market.” The Nevada Tax Commission will vote on the new regulations on Thursday.
Hang in there, Nevada.