Under new temporary regulations approved by the Nevada Tax Commission, many medical marijuana dispensaries in the state will be able to get a license to sell marijuana to those 21 years of age and older for any reason by July 1st.
Last fall Nevada voters approved Question 2, which allows for the creation of a recreational marijuana retail industry, possession of up to one ounce of cannabis in public and home growing for adults that live more than 25 miles from a retail shop.
So while other states that legalized marijuana last fall delay their programs, officials in Nevada have moved quickly to undercut the black market and begin generating tax revenue from recreational sales. “If we don’t adopt the regulations, we will not have a temporary program. If we don’t have a temporary program, we will not have the revenue that’s included in the governor’s budget,” Department of Taxation Director Deonne Contine said.
Dispensaries in Clark County, NV are set to get recreational sales licenses before July 1, and officials in places like Las Vegas plan on using the same timetable. The period for established medical marijuana dispensaries that are in good standing with the state to submit applications to sell retail marijuana is now officially open and is scheduled to end on May 31st.
Not only will Nevada get a head start on generating tax revenues, they will also get a head start on the economic activity that will be generated by new jobs being created. As the recreational cannabis industry expands to eventually dwarf the medical cannabis industry in the state, tens of thousands of jobs will come into existence, whether in the retail sector or in the distribution, cultivation, testing or production sectors.
Retail sales are also necessary to begin the long process of cutting black market dealers out of the industry. With possession and some growing legal, illegal dealers can take advantage of new laws without facing legal competition. If stemming the flow of marijuana profits to dangerous gangs and cartels is really something you desire, legal sales are a must.
And last, but certainly not least, is the fact that Nevada is getting a jump on retail sales over its neighbor, California. Since Nevada relies so much on tourism dollars, those extra several months could generate a lot of traffic from across the border with CA; maybe legal cannabis is just the extra incentive many people in the Golden State need to make that drive to Las Vegas.