The final hurdle for early recreational sales in Nevada has cleared. The Nevada Tax Commission has adopted temporary regulations, proposed by the Department of Taxation. Recreational marijuana licenses will be issued by July 1.
The recreational marijuana industry’s regulations are a mirror of the medical marijuana program, Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Governor Sandoval’s budget proposal includes $70 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales in the next two years. The Tax department’s Deonne Contine acknowledged urgency in adopting regulations for this reason.
Contine said, “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.”
Owner of Essence Cannabis dispensaries, Armen Yemenidjian said, “It’s great for the state. It’s great for the industry. I think it’s great for everybody. This is a display in how Nevada gets things done.”
Nevada requires all marijuana businesses to have both state and local licenses to operate in compliance. Clark County is slated to start licensing no later than July 1. Local Las Vegas and North Las Vega officials say that both are ready to begin licensing.
Henderson is still under a 6-month moratorium, so dispensaries wouldn’t be permitted to open until August at the earliest.
There might be a wrinkle though. The Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada says that the voter-approved legislation gives liquor distributors marijuana distribution monopoly for 18-months.
The Tax Department says it will accept applications from medical marijuana distributors, medical marijuana companies and liquor distributors but disagrees with Sam McMullen’s request for exclusive rights for transporting recreational marijuana.
Contine said, “We fundamentally disagree with what Mr. McMullen has said.”
Due to conflict with federal licensing regulations, applications are open to more than just liquor distributors as they are licensed federally. Contine said their participation in recreational marijuana distribution could put their licenses in jeopardy.
McMullen claims that his clients know the risk and are willing to apply regardless. It hasn’t been decided amongst McMullen and his clients whether further action will take place.