Troubles In Nevada


During those first whispers of cannabis legalization in Nevada, citizens and potential vacationers were ecstatic at the possibilities for the plant in the state. One clear example of this is the state of Colorado’s impeccable tax revenue reports from their thriving recreational cannabis market. In the coveted Nevada vacation spot of Las Vegas location where drunken debauchery, strip clubs, and even prostitution have long been legal; stoners were still forced to hide in fear of strict anti-cannabis laws. With the July 1st legalization, Nevada saw a huge influx of cannabis clients, but soon after, the recreational program took a turn for the worse.

Since that original boom, the daily number of clients has shrunk about 30% according to a report from the tax department. This could be due to the turf battle with alcohol that for six weeks has been ravaging what started out as a lucrative new industry for the Silver State. In the beginning phases before the new law legalizing the plant was passed by voters, the alcohol lobbyists were fighting hard to keep cannabis down. Since then they have shifted their tune, now lobbying to acquire all distribution rights between cultivations and dispensaries. This system would work fine, but only 6 of the 60 possible distributors have acquired the proper licensing.

About ten days ago Marijuana Business Daily reported on how the court battle for distribution rights was going. Those hoping to enter the distribution market are awaiting a rule change from the Nevada Department of Taxation which must go forward with a plan that will open the door for more people to acquire distribution licenses.

This action was in direct response to the alcohol industry showing little interest in being licensed. On August 14, a judge sided with the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada to reserve their distribution rights for a total of 18 months. However, just three days later, Carson City District Judge, James Russell denied the preliminary injunction that was blocking non-alcohol distributors from entering the market.

At that hearing, Judge Russell informed their representation that the alcohol distributors could appeal to regulators, which they now have. Today (August 29th) their formal appeal will be heard by a Tax Commission panel, and only time will tell if the issuance of distribution licenses will remain on hold. With that in place, Nevada cannabis will remain at a standstill as their cultivations sit on pounds of perfectly cured herb that is ready for sale but needing distribution.

August 29, 2017

by Cara Wietstock

Profile photo of Cara Wietstock
Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.


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