Nevada takes steps to end the great legal weed shortage of 2017

Nevada takes steps to end the great legal weed shortage of 2017

Nevada regulators may have staved off an imminent marijuana shortage by approving emergency rules meant to stop the state's dispensaries from running out of recreational weed hardly two weeks since starting retail sales.

On July 1, Nevada locals and tourists visiting from out of state waited hours in line in triple-digit temperatures to become the first in the state to purchase legal recreational marijuana.

LAS VEGAS -Some unintended consequences of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada has forced medical marijuana buyers to return to the black market, KTNV reported.

So, anxious that potential tax revenue could be at risk, the Nevada Department of Taxation declared a state of emergency, proposing regulations that would enable the expansion of distribution beyond the liquor industry.

That was the biggest reason Deonne Contine, executive director of the state's Department of Taxation, cited in March when she first expressed concern about "insufficient interest" among liquor wholesalers, especially in Nevada where many of their biggest customers are hotel-casinos also subject to numerous federal statutes. "We didn't know the demand would be this intense", said Al Fasano, cofounder of Las Vegas ReLeaf, on Tuesday, according to the Times.

Tax Commission member Thom Sheets said the answer was clear to him when no distributors had been approved.

Most recreational retailers were previously licensed under a 2-year-old medical marijuana program and many were distributing to themselves.

"It changed the whole quality of my life", Emily Wilson said. She said one of the new licensees is "pretty stressed out about what he's going to be asked to do".

The widely-reported "emergency" facing Nevada's burgeoning legal cannabis market has been resolved, or will be as soon as more distributors get licensed. However, the Nevada Department of Taxation released a statement that, as of July 5, none of the seven alcohol wholesalers that have applied met the application requirements to complete the licensing process.

Kevin Benson, a lawyer for the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada won that injunction, stopped short of threatening another lawsuit but testified at the hearing Thursday he's convinced the emergency regulation is invalid.

Alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to move marijuana from growers to retailers in Nevada, as part of a temporary court order that was extended in June. He told The Associated Press after the hearing he wants to review the regulation before deciding whether to challenge it in court.

Contine said in declaring the need for emergency action last week that marijuana retailers recorded more than 40,000 transactions in the first weekend.

"Without the ability to license marijuana distributors to continue the flow of product to the retail store, a high likelihood exists that consumers will revert to the black market", Contine said.

Related News: