After a battle that threatened to push back the Nevada recreational marijuana sales launch date, it seems that the July 1st date will be met after all. Governor Brian Sandoval signed an emergency regulation last week that will allow dispensaries to sell off their current supply to adults over the age of 21. The supply is only expected to last for a very short time however, so another solution is still needed. The state intended to create a temporary market until next year when the regulations and processes would be reviewed and finalized. Part of the temporary industry was to initiate the process of meeting the financial goals set by the governor’s office.
Miscommunication with the Alcohol Industry
The main issue came from a conflict within the alcohol industry. The initial amendment that legalized recreational marijuana was Question 2 which stated that the alcohol industry was to be given exclusive marijuana distribution rights for the first 18 months of the plant being legalized. When it came time to apply for marijuana licenses however, only 5 alcohol distributors stood forward. For this reason, believing there to be insufficient interest from the alcohol industry, the Nevada Department of Taxation, who are responsible for overseeing marijuana in the state, opened up applications to marijuana distributors.
The alcohol industry filed a case against the Department, preventing them from giving away licenses to marijuana distributors. Carson City District Judge James Wilson ruled that the exclusive rights given to the alcohol industry in the ballot should be adhered to. As a result, dispensaries won’t be able to replenish supplies once they run out. Until licensed distributors enter the industry, dispensaries will be forced to wait before they can sell any more recreational marijuana.
In the Wake of the Court Decision
The governor’s office spokesperson Michael Willden indicated that they were prepared to fight the Judge’s decision. The emergency regulation was launched in order to give the Department of Taxation time to initiate a response. Until distributors are up and running in the state, dispensaries will have to do the best with what they have.
Nevada receives approximately 40 million tourists a year and state officials are estimating 63 percent of recreational sales in the state to come from them. It is predicted to eventually contain one of the biggest cannabis markets in the country. California, who also legalized recreational marijuana last November, is expected to have the large industry in the country. The California recreational infrastructure will take a little longer to organize however and is expected to launch in 2018.
New Edible Regulations for Nevada
On top of this, the Department of Taxation also implemented stricter rules when it comes to edibles. Among other things, the new regulations demand that all marijuana infused edibles must be very clearly labeled. This may mean developing new molds for many edible producers. The rules also state that edibles not come in animal, fruit or any other shape that might be considered attractive to children. Bit by bit, all the marijuana regulations are coming together and the state can look forward to launching a booming new industry.