Nevada is running dangerously low on recreational marijuana.
Less than two weeks after sales of the fun kind of cannabis got underway for the first time in the state, stores are quickly running out of pot to sell.
That’s worrying the folks at the state Department of Taxation who apparently are downright lit over the idea of that nice fat income stream of taxes that recreational pot can produce.
So Gov. Brian Sandoval, not a man to run in the face of a crisis, is taking the proverbial bull by the horns in the Sagebrush State and has endorsed the tax collector’s call for a “statement of emergency.” In an effort to, well, blunt an impending catastrophe, such a declaration would allow state officials to consider adopting an emergency regulation that could alleviate the shortage.
That, in turn, would allow more dispensaries to become licensed distributors, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
In other words, pot users in Nevada can calm the heck down, take a deep breath, and just MELLOW OUT!
Here’s the problem: Nearly 50 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. Those sales got underway on July 1. But in a legal snafu, those same retailers do not have the authority to restock their inventory. Go figure, right?
It turns out that as part of a temporary court order alcohol wholesalers currently have the exclusive rights to move marijuana from growers to retailers in Nevada. Why? Because that would “promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol” as the law requires— and protect liquor stores from losing business as the demand for recreational marijuana rises.
And God forbid the liquor stores start to lose business.
In any case, things started to get mucked up last Friday when the taxation department stopped issuing new distribution licenses to the alcohol wholesalers because of incomplete applications and zoning issues.
Under the new plan proposed by tax officials, regulators would be free to consider a larger pool of applicants for distribution licenses. The Nevada Tax Commission must now vote on the regulation.
And while we wait for that to happen, Nevada’s pot sellers, along with their customers, are in a real tizzy. Several establishments are telling state officials that they expect to run completely out of pot in the coming days.
That’s not, like, weeks from now, dude. That’s like in days.
You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Here’s what taxation department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said about the shortage:
“Based on reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industry’s expectations at the state’s 47 licensed retail marijuana stores, and the reality that many stores are running out of inventory, the Department must address the lack of distributors immediately. Some establishments report the need for delivery within the next several days.”
Stay calm, and stay tuned.
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