While Nevada’s recreational marijuana market has been posting impressive sales numbers, a few alterations to the program are expected to be implemented by January.
Nevada residents approved Question 2 in November of 2016. This legalized recreational marijuana for use in January of 2018. However, after realizing the potential and need for additional tax revenues, state lawmakers actually started the program six months early.
Because Nevada started sales early under temporary regulations, a few changes were able to be made. Home delivery was approved which may have helped to increase business but also helped to reduce long lines at the newly opened dispensaries.
Now, the Las Vegas Sun is reporting that the new draft of Nevada’s permanent regulations for marijuana sales (set to start in January) will eliminate home delivery. Non-medical customers do not have to register their identities. This has alarmed state authorities who are concerned that delivery increases the chance of fraud and theft.
“We tried to come up with a structure that was fair to the businesses but also that protected public health and safety,” Stephanie Klapstein, a Department of Taxation spokeswoman, said according to the Sun. “We considered the safety of anyone who would be involved, either directly or peripherally, in the delivery process.”
Currently, 20 of the 60 dispensaries in Nevada offer delivery for recreational consumers. Deliveries for medical patients would still be permitted under the new rules.
“For medical deliveries, the patients have their medical cards, they’ve been through a check and they’re kind of safeguarded,” she said. “We’re trying to get to a place with recreational home deliveries where we can ensure the same safety.”
Tim Conder, founder, and CEO of marijuana delivery company Blackbird, had concerns about what this could mean for the industry in Nevada.
“It’s a matter of access for the customer, some will purchase from the business offering that service whether it’s legal or illegal” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be allowed to provide that legal access.”
Some members of Nevada’s law enforcement seemed to echo Conder’s sentiments. Lt. Sean Toman of Las Vegas’ Police’s Narcotic Crimes Division stated that deliveries are an important factor in law enforcement’s strategy to keep the black markets suppressed.
“The more they’re allowed to go forward with legal delivery, the better chance we have at decreasing the illegal delivery services,” Toman told the Sun.
There does seem to be a great deal of support for working out home delivery regulations for the recrational market. Bob Groesbeck, owner of Medizin, a dispensary in Law Vegas still maintained optimism.
“From our perspective there’s potential for revenue and hopefully we’ll get some regulations in place,” Groesbeck said. “This is all new for everyone, it’s a process and at the end of the day it takes time to get it right.”