A Week After Legalization, Nevada Weed Dispensaries Are Already Sold Out

Wednesday, 12 Jul, 2017

Less than two weeks after Nevada began the legal sale of recreational marijuana, dozens of dispensaries in the state are anxious they soon won't have any pot left. The Nevada Tax Commission is looking to implement an emergency rule to consider more applicants for distribution licenses. You guessed it: The state's dispensaries are already running out of product. That must be done by alcohol wholesalers, which were given exclusive rights to distribute marijuana as a compromise to a liquor industry that was anxious pot sales would cut into profits.

Nevada's governor has endorsed a state of emergency declared for recreational marijuana regulations, after the state's tax authority declared that many stores are running out of weed.

"The initial weekend of legal operation of marijuana establishments resulted in well over 40,000 retail transactions and some establishments report sales of more than double their estimates".

Dispensaries began selling marijuana on July 1, and allow customers age 21 and older to buy an ounce of marijuana, or an eighth of an ounce in edibles.

So, since the state said that dispensaries have to receive product from licensed distributors but has not issued any licenses yet, they are hoping this new regulation will pass and get new distribution licenses out there.

The confusion is understandable, given that Nevadans voted to legalize pot just last November and state officials dragged their feet on complying until the last minute.

Stephanie Klapstein, a spokeswoman for the Department of Taxation, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that a collapsed marijuana market would have far-reaching consequences. The tax department is appealing the decision.

One of the major reforms that the emergency regulation could produce is empowering the taxation department to make a determination of sufficiency - i.e. how many distributors the industry needs.

"The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state", she added. These businesses have recently hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the increased demand of adult-use. Let's call the total tax take about 32 percent of legal recreational marijuana sales.

Recreational marijuana became legal to purchase in Nevada last week, and as one might expect of the state home to a place colloquially known as "Sin City", there was a market for the drug.

Some dispensaries need new shipments of product asap, but logistical issues have thrown a major wrench in distribution.