The state of Nevada has seen more legal cannabis sales in their first few months than any other state that has legalized marijuana so far. With dispensaries running out of product within the first weeks of recreational sales becoming legal back in July, it’s not entirely a surprise.
In the month of July, the state brought in $3.68 million in tax revenue alone – from a total of $27.1 million in legal sales for both medical and recreational cannabis. In the month of October alone, Nevada made $37.9 million in legal cannabis sales
Compared to Nevada, Colorado and Oregon each brought in $14 million in their first month of legal sales, and Washington brought in around $3.8 million. Over four months, cannabis has brought about $20 million in tax revenue to Nevada’s budget.
“We are pretty on target with projections, maybe a little over,” Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
It is expected that Nevada’s high numbers of tourists play a part in the considerable number of legal sales. However, this also reminds lawmakers that they need to provide a place where these visitors can smoke their marijuana without technically still breaking the law.
“We have 40 million tourists in Las Vegas; we’re around the world right now saying, ‘Come to Las Vegas, because you can buy recreational marijuana, or cannabis,” state Senator Tick Segerblom said at a cannabis law conference in July. “But you have to also say, ‘There is literally no place that you can use this as a tourist.’ You can’t just use it in your hotel room. You can’t just use it on the strip. You can’t use it at a restaurant. You can’t use it at a concert. But they do.”
Not everyone agrees with Segerblom because they are afraid that it may cause backlash from the Department of Justice. However, with the state’s recreational market already doing so well, adding to it a place for those visiting to legally consume could not only boost the economy by allowing another type of business to open its doors, but it could also drive even more sales from those visitors.
Even without that addition, however, it’s clear that Nevada is leading the way for the highest revenues from legal cannabis so far.