Nevada will start recreational marijuana sales six months earlier than expected.
In November, Nevada residents approved Question 2 and legalized recreational marijuana sales. Although the new rules were expected to take effect in January of 2018, sales will now commence on July 1 after temporary rules were approved by state officials.
The decision to start recreational sales early was made by the Nevada Tax Commission. The members of the commission voted by a margin of 6-1 to greenlight the recreational program early. It seems that Nevada lawmakers were already counting on having the extra revenue expected to be generated by legal marijuana sales.
“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,” Contine said according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Some shop owners were obviously excited about the potential for new customers.
“Its great for the state. It’s great for the industry. I think its great for everybody,” said Armen Yemenidjian, owner of Essence Cannabis dispensaries. “This is a display in how Nevada gets things done.”
Not everyone is pleased with the early sales. Some members of the liquor industry were under the impression that they would be the sole distributors of recreational marijuana.
“My clients have been pushed aside,” said attorney Samuel McMullen, who represents liquor distributors in Nevada.
Medical marijuana dispensaries will now be able to sell to recreational consumers.
Currently, eight states (and Washington D.C) have legalized the recreational sales of marijuana.