*Well double dang! The new law making recreational weed legal in Nevada hasn’t even settled in good and already its experiencing issues. On July 1st a law passed that allowed people over the age of 21 to just roll on up to their neighborhood dispensary and buy a joint, $10 bag or even as much as an ounce. But now the long lines have threatened the entire weed supply, leaving the industry in dire straits.
“We didn’t know the demand would be this intense,” Al Fasano, co-founder of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said on Tuesday. “All of a sudden you have like a thousand people at the door.…We have to tell people we’re limited in our products.”
I doubt he’s exaggerating.
EAT. SLEEP. SMOKE. REPEAT.
Limited? Not the response “veteran smokers” — OK, potheads from way back, want to hear.
Of course, this probably wouldn’t be getting the attention its getting if the state wasn’t addicted to the tax revenue they expect the pot to bring in. Its anticipated that a 10% tax on sales of recreational pot and a 15% tax on growers will generate tens of millions of dollars a year for schools and the state’s “general fund” reserves.
What’s the general fund money used for again?
This little ditty makes the pending empty shelves a real issue to interested parties even beyond the average weed consumers.
The glitch, however, is not for a lack of marijuana itself per se; because there is plenty of it on a wholesale basis. The problem is who gets to transport it. When the voters overwhelmingly approved last year’s state referendum over legalization; which allowed people 21 years and over to purchase or possess up to an ounce of marijuana — it threatened Nevada’s powerful alcohol lobby, with concerns that legalized weed would cut into liquor store sales.
In other words, if people start smoking the more natural product, plants, that means they won’t need liquor. Oh hell no! They can’t have that.
So to quiet this raging bull of an industry, the caveat or concession to the ballot measure stipulated that for the first 18 months of pot sales only wholesale alcohol distributors would be allowed to transport marijuana from cultivation facilities to the dispensaries.
When the new law came into affect, with only 50 dispensaries cleared to sell recreational marijuana, the lines ate up the supply they already had on hand. And when alcohol distributors tried to get in on selling it, they were shut down because of regulations and licenses they had yet to procure.
In other words, it is one huge mess.
In attempts to clear the way, the Department of Taxation proposed emergency regulations aimed at expanding the pool of potential distributors.
Do you know what an ounce of weed looks like? If not, watch the video below.
Read more about this state of emergency in Nevada at the L.A. Times.