Nevada mulling state of emergency over pot shortage

Nevada businesses running out of marijuana ‘statement of emergency’ declared

Less than two weeks after Nevada began the legal sale of recreational marijuana, dozens of dispensaries in the state are anxious they soon won't have any pot left.

As a result, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a statement of emergency on Friday.

Voters approved recreational marijuana in November and sales started on July 1 - raking in around $3 million during the first weekend, according to the Nevada Dispensary Association. The market for marijuana is now operating under emergency regulations issued July 6 after booze distributors went to court to protect a temporary, legally guaranteed monopoly on recreational marijuana sales guaranteed them by last year's ballot measure.

Nevada's Department of Taxation said stores are quickly running out of marijuana, according to a report by the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Without the retail sale of marijuana, the State will not realize the revenue on which the State budget relies". Current law states that no other distributors than ones in the wholesale alcohol industry can apply for the first 18 months of sales.




Almost 50 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use.

There's a reefer shortage madness in Nevada, where - after just one week of recreational marijuana sales - supplies are drying up. "If the regulation passes and the taxation department issues distribution licenses, not all of the industry's hardships will be solved". Long lines of customers have formed at dispensaries that until last week had been authorized to sell only medical marijuana. It would allow for liquor wholesalers to get in on the marijuana business. The department is set to adopt the licensing rule changes as soon as Thursday, July 13.

The new regulations would bring to a head a legal fight between Nevada and its liquor industry, which has sued for the right to sling grass. "People are there when we open [at 10 a.m.] and they're there when we close [at midnight]". Several establishments told state officials they expected to run out in the coming days.

There were estimates that Nevada's residents and guests bought almost $3 million worth of the good shit over the Fourth of July weekend, with "well over 40,000 transactions" taking place at the state's 47 pot stores. A 15% tax on cultivation of marijuana generates revenue for the state, which it spends on public education.

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