RENO – Recreational marijuana was the talk of the town in Nevada as sales hit a high number on the 4th of July weekend.
Reports from sources tell us that 40,000 plus sales were made that gave recreational marijuana a push. The sales showed that there was not enough recreational marijuana to accommodate the demand – this suggests that this could help support state funds.
This fund-support is estimated to cross the $100 million mark in the next two years. The state experimented by rushing the sales but failed to figure out a viable distribution strategy.
Wholesale alcohol distributors were able to sell recreational marijuana for 18 months under the new state law. Dispensaries were stocked with marijuana but no one expected that the demand would be several times greater than expected.
The state of Nevada was worried that the tax revenue was at risk – at the point where the Nevada Department of Taxation proposed regulations that expanded the distribution net beyond the wholesale alcohol industry – by declaring a state of emergency.
“Dispensaries will run out of product, they’re already running out of some products, and there will be a budget shortfall if that happens. Because if these businesses can’t sell products, then we can’t collect tax.” Said a concerned Dionne Contine, executive director of the Department of Taxation.
The emergency regulations were approved by the state Tax Commission on Thursday – unanimously, after long public commentary. Two more licenses were awarded in the hopes of increasing sales and revenue.
The state aims to divert users from the black market to the legal market – standardizing quantity, quality and rules – it is a state supported crack down.
The legalized recreational marijuana gives a cut to Nevada in the form of a 15% excise tax on wholesalers and a 10% retail tax on recreational sales. 70% of the sales out of the expected $100 million tax revenue is forecasted to come from recreational sales – the coffers will be reserved to fund K-12 education, which at the moment is short by $40 million.
The sales have been high, business is booming as Blum dispensary in Reno added more than 20 folding chairs and a cooler filled with water on the sidewalk as people were waiting for more than an hour to get their cut of the grass.
Locals say that dispensaries are more expensive but trustworthy about quality when compared with a street dealer – who do not sell regulated marijuana. The quality differs, some even report street dealers mixing other harmful with marijuana for more sales.
Nevada saw what could be called a quick start to the marijuana industry. However, marijuana is still considered a federal crime across the country in Washington where anti-weed sentiments in state officials is high. The regulatory fight continues – some say that Nevada jumped into recreational marijuana too quickly while others say that it was the right move.
This is a six month push by the state of Nevada but at the moment – they stand alone trying to round up more support from other states who could take an example from the Reno green rush