By Jenny Bloom
Washington Cannabis Connection
Thanks to temporary regulations, Nevada will begin issuing licenses for recreational marijuana starting July 1st.
Why So Quick? Nevada adopted regulations so quickly to help meet the budgetary goals set in place by the governor. A temporary plan based on current medical marijuana regulations, allows recreational marijuana to begin before finalizing the details.
Since the state is expecting $70 million dollars in revenue from recreational marijuana within two years, the tax department urged the Nevada Tax Commission to adopt temporary regulations as a part of a temporary program.
Tax department director, Deonne Contine explained, “If we don’t adopt the regulations, we will not have a temporary program. If we don’t have a temporary program, we will not have the revenue that’s included in the governor’s budget.”
On the Local Level
With regulations approved on the state level, it is now up to local governments to decide when recreational marijuana will exist. Marijuana businesses in Nevada require both a state license and a local license, however many areas are pledging to match the efficiency of the state.
Clark County, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas have also pledged to issue licenses starting July 1.
Henderson may take a little longer, however, due to their 6-month moratorium on marijuana licenses. The earliest date licenses could be available the is August 2017.
Armen Yemenidjian, the owner of Essence Cannabis dispensaries, celebrated his state’s success, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “This is a display in how Nevada gets things done.”
Alcohol and Marijuana in Vegas
Many in the industry appreciated Nevada’s efficient approach to regulating recreational marijuana. However, there were some that were not as happy. Some liquor distributors believe they should receive many of those licenses.
Sam McMullen, with the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada, insists that voters agreed to give currently licensed liquor distributors complete control of distribution licenses for the first 18-months. Contine decided otherwise.
“We fundamentally disagree with what Mr. McMullen has said. Liquor distributors are licensed federally. And like banks or casinos, choosing to participate in a market that is federally illegal could jeopardize that license.”
Instead, the tax department opted to accept applications from medical marijuana companies and distributors in addition to liquor distributors. This ensured a larger number of applicants in case of a conflict with federal licenses for liquor distributors.
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