Marijuana dispensaries may start selling recreational weed within Nevada as soon as July 1, the state tax board voted Monday, six months earlier than previously expected.
While Nevadans voted last November in favor of legalizing marijuana, lawmakers aren’t expected to draft rules governing the state’s recreational weed program until January 2018. With medical marijuana dispensaries already legally operating across the state, however, the Nevada Tax Commission on Monday voted 6-1 in favor of granting temporary retail licenses to currently existing pot shops.
Monday’s decision means licensed medical-marijuana dispensaries in Nevada can submit applications to the state Department of Taxation starting May 15 seeking permission to sell their wares to patrons other than patients. Dispensaries deemed to be in good standing with the state are expected to receive the first temporary licenses July 1, at which point they’ll be legally allowed to serve medical and recreational weed customers alike.
Temporary retail licenses will expire January 2018, giving the state several months to study the immediate impact of legalizing marijuana before finalizing the framework for its voter-approved recreational weed program.
Indeed, politicians have said they expect retail weed will do wonders for Nevada’s coffers, provided of course its recreational pot program gets off the ground without a hitch. Gov. Brian Sandoval said he intends for recreational marijuana to rake in $70 million within its first two years, the likes of which may not be easily achievable unless some pot shops are given a head-start.
“If we don’t adopt the regulations, we will not have a temporary program. If we don’t have a temporary program, we will not have the revenue that’s included in the governor’s budget,” Deonne Contine, the director of the state Department of Taxation, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.