A Week After Legalization, Nevada Runs Out of Weed

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A week after recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada, dispensaries that were licensed to sell it have run out of pot, according to the state Department of Taxation. Later that day, they also announced that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval had endorsed the department’s “statement of emergency.” This would allow state officials to consider adopting an emergency regulation that could alleviate the shortage.
This would mean that the department could consider a larger pool of applicants for distribution licenses, as well as licenses that would permit the transport of recreational marijuana from the cultivation and packaging facilities to the dispensaries.

Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein commented on the shortage, saying, “We continue to work with the liquor wholesalers who have applied for distribution licenses, but most don’t yet meet the requirements that would allow us to license them. Even as we attempted to schedule the final facility inspection for one of the applicants this week, they told us their facility was not ready and declined the inspection.”

Now that any marijuana dispensary licensed to sell recreational marijuana has to get all their product from a distributor licensed to transport recreational marijuana, many of them now have rapidly declining supplies of both flower and edibles.

“The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state. They have hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the demands of the market. Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to retail stores will result in many of these people losing their jobs and will bring this nascent market to a grinding halt. A halt in this market will lead to a hole in the state’s school budget,” Klapstein said.
If the proposed regulation passes and the taxation department issues distribution licenses, it still won’t solve all the industry’s problems. This is because many cultivation centers are in the middle of the growing cycle of some strains of marijuana. This means that there will be a lag between dispensaries selling out and the next harvest. To make things worse, some cultivation centers have already sold futures of their next crop.