Despite anxiety across the marijuana industry, Nevada will start recreational sales on July 1.
Recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada after Question 2 was passed by residents last November. Initially, the date for recreational sales to start was in January of 2018. However, lawmakers decided to allow the already running medical dispensaries to start recreational sales early. The state legislature is already counting on the newly expected tax revenues for their budget.
Although a recent court decision put the July 1 start date in jeopardy, the Nevada Department of Taxation started issuing licenses this week and shops are expected to be serving recreational consumers by the weekend.
The conflicting reports have been tough on the industry and have caused confusion for consumers. It appears shops are willing to adapt.
“I’m very confident that word will travel quickly and the community will begin to understand that retail sales are now in effect. We aren’t trying to conquer the world in one weekend, and if it takes time to develop more business through an introductory period, we’ll welcome that,” said Andrew Jolly, CEO of The +Source, a dispensary with locations in Las Vegas and Henderson.
Inventory has been difficult to manage as shops were unsure until this week if they would able to start recreational sales.
“We’re projecting to be busy, but because of the conflicts on the start date for retail sales, we can’t be sure how many people to expect. In other states like Colorado, there was a full year for everyone to prepare and a set date, which has led them into a robust industry,” Jolley said.
Although there will likely be obstacles to work around at first, Jolley remains optimistic for the future of the cannabis industry and criminal justice reform.
“This is an extremely progressive step in normalizing cannabis for our community in general. Last year over 600,000 people nationwide were arrested for cannabis possession, which is a travesty and I’m hoping will become a thing of the past. Nevada has been a leader for other medical programs and we’re confident that this has built a strong foundation for retail sales.”