The pot business in Nevada is booming after it became the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana. However, some stores could run out of pot as the battle with state liquor distributors intensifies.
Only Nevada’s alcohol distributors will be allowed to legally transport the product from the growers to the stores, the requirement is contained in the new marijuana law that was implemented on Saturday. Unfortunately, none of the liquor companies has been licensed by the state.
Andrew Jolley, who is the CEO of a company with dispensaries in Las Vegas and its suburb Henderson, said that the state would like to license the liquor companies only that it’s not ready. He also expressed hope that the supplies available would be adequate to last a few days or weeks before they re-supply.
The booming business can be attributed to legalization of recreational marijuana to people of age 21 and older. Pot users have been making long lines at dispensaries that until last week had been authorized to sell only medical marijuana.
One of the medical dispensaries in Las Vegas identified as ReLeaf opened in 2015. The dispensary says it served about 1,000 customers each day this weekend. Most of them were tourists from out of state, according to COO Al Fasano. He said that's seven or eight times the usual business of 100 to 150 medical buyers per day.
The legalization of recreational marijuana sales was voted in by Nevada residents in November 2016, the lawmakers and regulators spent the next few months crafting the rules of how and where this could happen and how the industry would be taxed.
A decision was reached by State regulators that the transportation of recreational marijuana should fall exclusively to liquor distributors for the first 18 months of legal sales. Only few liquor distributors replied on the enterprise request.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states. In states such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, the sale of recreational marijuana is also legal.