Authorities in Nevada said they will allow additional businesses to transport recreational marijuana to dispensaries.
The drama that is Nevada’s recreational marijuana program continues and it may cause a bit of a hangover for state liquor distributors. The Nevada Tax Commission has decided to uphold its previous ruling that businesses other than liquor distributors can deliver marijuana to dispensaries to help them restock their bare inventory.
Nevada voters legalized recreational marijuana when they approved Question 2 in November. Question 2 initially stated that liquor companies would have exclusive rights to transport recreational marijuana. However, the Nevada Tax Commission ruled that liquor distributors alone are unable to keep up with the high demand dispensaries are seeing.
“Based on reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industry’s expectations at the state’s 47 licensed retail marijuana stores, and the reality that many stores are running out of inventory,” Department of Taxation spokesperson Stephanie Klapstein said last month.
With the tax department reaffirming its decision, it is possible that the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada will file a lawsuit to challenge the ruling. Nevada Tax Commissioner, Tom Sheets, said he expected legal challenges.
The tax department is expected to issue official licenses to the new distributors soon.
“We are looking at that right now and discussing things with our legal counsel,” Klapstein told The Associated Press.
State representatives, especially those working in Nevada’s Tax Commission, have a lot at stake in regards to the recreational marijuana program. They are leaning heavily on the tax revenues generated from legal marijuana sales. Nevada does not have an income tax, so funding state programs can get tricky. Even before sales started, Nevada officials included the projected tax revenues from marijuana sales into their new budget. If marijuana cannot be transported to dispensaries and sales slow, lawmakers may have a difficult time finding available funds to keep their budget in order.