Nevada Dispensaries Ran Out of Legal Marijuana in Less than a Week

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It took licensed dispensaries in the glorious state of Nevada less than a week to run out of legal marijuana. That led tax officials to declare a “statement of emergency,” prompting the governor to intervene to save the state from dankruptcy.


According to the Reno Gazette–Journal, “On Friday, taxation officials announced that Gov. Brian Sandoval had endorsed the department’s ‘statement of emergency,’ allowing state officials to consider adopting an emergency marijuana regulation that could alleviate the shortage.”

Recreational marijuana sales have far exceeded industry expectations since July 1, when Nevada became the fifth U.S. state to legalize recreational herb. In just four days, legal recreational marijuana has generated $3 million in sales revenue and $500,000 in tax revenue, according to the Las Vegas Sun. That puts the state on track to generate a staggering $30 million in sales revenue in just six months, according to the Nevada Dispensary Association.

Last weekend, people waited in lines at some of the state’s 47 licensed dispensaries for up to three hours to get the goods.

The problem doesn’t seem to be a lack of supply, but rather issues with distribution licensing. To appease liquor distributors, officials gave them exclusive rights to transport wholesale marijuana during the first year and a half after the new law took effect. But officials say the seven liquor distributors who applied to become marijuana distributors don’t meet the state’s requirements for licensing, according to the Gazette–Journal. Applications either were incomplete or there were zoning issues, the newspaper said.

The state passed legal recreational marijuana as part of a ballot initiative last November. It allows the use and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana flower or up to an eighth–ounce of concentrates. Fifteen percent of the industry’s cultivation tax goes to fund schools in the state.

The Nevada Tax Commission votes on the emergency distributors regulation on Thursday.

Weekend Editor, Splinter