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Lack Of Marijuana In Nevada Leads To 'State Of Emergency'

Marijuana Nevada 071117

Nevada's governor has endorsed the state tax authority's call for a state of emergency that would allow to expand the pool of potential distributors of recreational marijuana, as many pot stores in the state are running out of supply amid booming demand.

The shortage comes less than two weeks after the sale of recreational marijuana was launched in Nevada.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has endorsed the Nevada Department of Taxation's call for a state of emergency, which will allow the department to expand the pool of potential marijuana distributors, including to those outside the alcohol business.

This is required to end the shortage as well as maintain the flow of revenue related to the legal sale and regulation of recreational marijuana in the state. The state tax commission will vote on the emergency measure Thursday.

Currently, 47 retail marijuana stores in Nevada are licensed statewide to sell adult-use marijuana and marijuana products to customers aged 21 or older. Customers can buy one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates.

However, these same retailers do not have the authority to restock their inventory. Instead, alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to distribute marijuana to retailers in Nevada.

Sales of recreational marijuana in Nevada began on July 1. According to the Nevada Dispensary Association, sales within the first weekend were around $3 million.

"The initial weekend of legal operation of marijuana establishments resulted in well over 40,000 retail transactions and some establishments report sales of more than double their estimates. Additionally, some establishments report the need for delivery within the next several days," the Nevada Department of Taxation stated.

However, the tax authority also noted that as of July 5, no wholesale liquor dealer has met the application requirements to receive a marijuana distributor license. This was attributed to various reasons, including local government issues, lack of completed applications and zoning review.

The tax department said that without the retail sale of marijuana, Nevada will not realize the revenue on which the State budget relies. In the absence of flow of recreational marijuana to the retail store, customers might also revert to the black market.

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