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Nevada Gives Final Approval for Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin July 1


Nevada has given the final green light to start recreational marijuana sales on July 1. Recreational sales aren’t legal until July 1 and must be through a licensed dispensary. Medical marijuana dispensaries on good terms with the state will be permitted to make early recreational sales with proper approval.

Bobbie Macfarlane of Sierra Wellness Connection said, “We have so many people coming in every day and calling in every day asking when we’ll have (recreational marijuana).”

California, Maine and Massachusetts all legalized recreational marijuana in November, just like Nevada, according to Reno Gazette-Journal. Sales in those states won’t begin until 2018. Governor Sandoval’s driving force for rushing the process is the $70-million in recreational marijuana taxes that could come in by 2019. Those funds would go to help Nevada schools.

It’s also a way for the state to cripple the black market. Nevada residents have been able to legally possess marijuana since January, but can’t legally purchase it until July 1.

Karen O’Keefe of Marijuana Policy Project said, “Nevada’s (system) is much more advanced than smaller states. You already have rigorous testing and security, two of the biggest challenges.”

O’Keefe also said, “Of the states that have legalized marijuana, two of them kind of had unique situations: Washington and Alaska, they were starting from scratch. There were not testing rules, there were no licensing rules.”

Macfarlane said, “It’s tough because we’re still trying to figure out the laws.”

A decision regarding a recreational tax rate has not been made yet. Packaging requirements and local taxes are also still up for debate. Research guidelines are still being established. It is important to note that changes may come once the temporary rules have been tested. Some of the temporary rules may become permanent in January while others remain up for debate.

Macfarlane said, “(The state is) jumping on the opportunity. Any new industry is stressful. You have to fail a few times, but that’s how you figure it out.”

Debate regarding a recreational marijuana sales tax is ongoing, for now, recreational sales will be taxed at a rate of 15-percent. Medical marijuana sales will maintain their 2-percent sales tax.