In the month-long history of Nevada’s legalized weed market, there’s been one big, odd restriction on distribution licenses. You couldn’t get one unless you were a liquor wholesaler. But now the state of legal prostitution and gambling is opening their arms to non booze-pushers.
On Thursday the Nevada Department of Taxation decided that there might be people and entities capable of distributing cannabis other than deep-pocketed companies whose bread and butter is keeping people drunk so they gamble their savings away. Like, for instance, medical marijuana providers will now be eligible for recreational licenses, which makes sense since they’re the only ones in the state with any legal marijuana business experience.
Nevada’s liquor wholesalers previously fought a similar measure in court last month, despite the fact that none at that time had actually completed the licensing process.
The decision to widen access to cannabis distribution licenses came because the state simply did not have a big enough legal supply to keep their law abiding stoners high. Tax officials argued this could make for a market where consumers would be forced to turn to the black market, making the state’s legal weed program basically pointless.
Last month, Gov. Brian Sandoval backed the NDT’s approval of an emergency measure to meet the demands of Nevada’s pot smokers. Cannabis retailers had reported over 40,000 transactions in the first weekend of legal sales alone.
“I think the evidence is fairly clear today that this market needs to be opened up,” Deonne Contine, executive director of the Nevada Department of Taxation, told the commission, according to the Associated Press. “The capacity of only liquor wholesalers to serve the market seems lacking.”
The NDT will review roughly 80 applications it received in May and begin awarding licenses soon after.
Photo via Flickr user David Gach