Nevada lawmakers are making some emergency changes in the days before the state’s early start, recreational cannabis program begins on July 1. Long lines are expected at most dispensaries throughout the holiday weekend. For local residents, or anyone looking to visit and take advantage of the new law, here’s an overview of some of the recent changes to be aware of.
The Nevada Department of Taxation has released a statement of emergency to allow for certain restrictions on recreational cannabis edibles. The last minute changes currently have dispensaries scrambling to remove unqualifying products from their rec menus. The new regulations will prohibit sales of the following for recreational use:
When Nevada voted ‘yes’ on Question 2 in November, it was an unprecedented move that called for cannabis to be regulated in the same manner as alcohol. Unlike in other states, this vote gave liquor distributors the sole authority to distribute the product to retailers for the first 18 months of sales.
A few months ago, lawmakers implemented Nevada’s early start program so dispensaries could sell their existing inventories, and the state could begin to collect tax revenue while the liquor lobby finalized their plans.
Since liquor distributors will have a monopoly over the products, existing dispensaries will only be able to sell what they currently have in stock and will not be able to re-up until these distributors complete their applications. This is putting existing dispensaries and cannabis consumers on edge since the handful of liquor distributors who’ve applied for licenses have yet to complete their applications at this point.
Several Nevada dispensaries have been overstocked with items since the number of medical marijuana cards issued in the state has fallen far below initial projections. But the anticipation of rec sales in the state, coupled with its rollout on July 1 (right before July 4, the third largest holiday weekend for cannabis sales following 4/20 and New Year’s Eve), local dispensaries fear that they will run out of inventory within 2-4 weeks.
Henderson, Sparks and Carson City have yet to approve state regulations for recreational cannabis, meaning that dispensaries located in those areas will not be allowed to begin retail sales on July 1.
Henderson had previously approved of a six-month moratorium on recreational sales back in February, so we may not see Henderson join the program until August at the earliest.