It Only Took One Week: After Legalization, Nevada Dispensaries Could Run Out of Weed

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Top Tier Gear USA


Nevada residents and tourists hoping to partake in some of the state’s newly legalized recreational cannabis might be out of luck — dispensaries have been running low on supply after crushing business during the first week of legal sales.

“The line is out the door and the line just doesn’t stop,” opined Al Fasano of ReLeaf, a medical dispensary in Las Vegas, to CNN Money, shortly after Nevada gave the green light for green. “People are there when we open [at 10 a.m.] and they’re there when we close [at midnight].”

At issue — and unsurprisingly, given the notorious inefficiencies of government — are regulations governing the transport of weed from cultivators to stores, as only the state’s alcohol distributors have permission to ship the plant.

But none have yet procured licensing from Nevada to do so.

“I think they’d like to do it; they’re just not ready,” remarked Andrew Jolley, CEO of The Source, a company with dispensaries in Las Vegas and Henderson. “We hope we have sufficient supply to last a few days or weeks until the distributors are able to come online to supply us.”

CNN Money reported, “State regulators decided that the transportation of recreational marijuana should fall exclusively to liquor distributors for the first 18 months of legal sales.

“But when the state reached out to the liquor distributors about the new enterprise, only a few replied, and they said they didn’t want to do it, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

When liquor distributors balked at the opportunity, the state loosened weed transportation strictures so others could apply — but the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada scoffed, sued, and won exclusivity on transport, via a ruling by a judge in Carson City.

However, the liquor industry still hasn’t capitalized on its golden egg-laying hen.

Nevada, nonetheless, is reaping the lucrative benefits of legal weed — between last Saturday and Tuesday, the state profited an estimated $1 million from taxation of the product, with dispensaries pulling in around $3 million.

To stave off an inevitable supply void, Nevada has temporarily allowed medical dispensaries to re-categorize some medical product as recreational — and then restock the shelves with additional medicinal product.

“It is important to emphasize that nothing in the order prohibits the marijuana industry from starting — the state can simply license the alcohol distributors and let them get to work,” attorney Kevin Benson, with the alcohol distribution industry, told CNN Money. “That is, of course, what we would like to see happen.”

Prior to legalization for recreational use, Nevadans could only purchase cannabis legally for medical use — but long lines and a constant flow of traffic indicate the plant’s intense popularity for reasons other than treating cancers, PTSD, prescription and illicit opioid abuse, and more.

ReLeaf, alone, experienced an astronomical uptick in sales during the first weekend of recreational sales, with upwards of 1,000 customers each day — compared to between 100 and 150, who had purchased cannabis for medical reasons prior to the new law.

Kinks should be expected in the nascent stages of the implementation of any new legislation, but the categorical popularity of recreational weed — as evinced in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, the only other states where recreational use is legal — apparently did not prepare regulators holding red tape for this veritable run on the market.

“The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state,” asserted Nevada Department of Taxation spokeswoman, Stephanie Klapstein, in an email to USA Today. “They have hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the demands of the market. Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to retail stores will result in many of these people losing their jobs and will bring this nascent market to a grinding halt. A halt in this market will lead to a hole in the state’s school budget.”

As government is wont, everything is tied to everything else; and, that legal weed is tied to education could be quite the roadblock, if Nevada fails to expedite solutions to its rapidly dwindling supply.

“Revenue collected from the 15% cultivation tax goes toward schools, while the 10% sales tax revenue goes toward the state’s rainy day fund, which can be used for any number of expenditures,” USA Today reports.

While it may go without saying for many of us ambivalent toward anything State controlled, perhaps Nevada — and its massive tourism industry now including pot vacationers — would be wiser to backtrack on untenable restrictions surrounding the sale of legal weed.

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  • RandyJ/ProudSurvivor

    Aside from those who are actually medicating, it’s difficult to tell if those who are so desirous to use alcohol, drugs and other substances are trying to numb themselves from the realities of our world, or to just feel something-anything at all. Maybe it depends on the individual. Or the day.

    • There are more people doing that in front of screens than could ever be supplied by a legalized drug distribution system.

      • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

        Or an illegalized one.

  • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

    What’s this? The alcohol distributors aren’t doing their part for legal Cannabis?

    I’m sure nobody saw that coming. . .

    • Leonatramirez

      Managing director of Google says we are paying $97 per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family^hy237d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Toyota Prius Prime from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it,.Then see this
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash527GroupSnow/GetPay$97/Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::~hg237o..,.

    • They are trying to kill all the other dogs in the recreational drug race instead of taking them on as competitors to their existing product lines.

  • Ken, Megapolis

    My pubs have been closing down because (i) serious government regulation/mismanagement/economic disaster all around, (ii) smoking ban, (iii) price of the beer going up to £4/pt. Many closed, converted to Indian restaurants or maybe flats.
    I prefer beer to the stoner culture in which you just zone out. Beer means lively debates to me, even a fun karaoke. Stoners smoke so much they just fall asleep man.
    I fear the increasing worldwide acceptance of stone-me stuff will have many an unworked out effect on the economy and people’s attitudes and behaviour.
    That and the brewing industries fighting the way they do to keep on form.
    I suggest don’t push it don’t force it. It will happen naturally.
    So help me God.

    • You apparently are drinking the koolaid distributed by the drug warriors.
      Beer is far more deleterious than marijuana could ever be.
      Maybe you should read Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari and learn the truth about why the drug war came to exist and why it should be abandoned.
      I was a pothead for 20 years, and I was never able to smoke enough high-grade Lebanese hashish to pass out, so I know for a fact from personal experience that wouldn’t happen from smoking pot. Marijuana prohibition came about from federal propaganda produced by soon to be unemployed federal prohibition enforcers.

      • TheEndGameIsNear

        It will happen, however, if you live by the beach and you go out to have a drink stoned and it turns out to have 5 shots in it..

        Bars aren’t catering to weed smokers and that is the problem – they are still catering to prohibitionist alcoholics and us stoners aren’t looking for any barfights.

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      Pot is so much more conducive to lively debates and karaoke than beer – which is more conducive to self-destructive behavior and passing out while walking down a sidewalk.

      Alcohol destroys brain tissue – pot aids in the regrowth of same.

      Harry Anslinger would be so proud of the way you mindlessly sucked up his propaganda. . .

      • It wasn’t all Harry’s propaganda. He was mostly into claiming that it turned black men into serial rapists. The rest came from later propagandists. Chasing the Scream sets the record straight the best I’ve found.

        • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

          True – that kind of stupidity needs help in order to fester.

          • That is a pretty universal fact. Ignorance and stupidity need to be cultivated to do most of the damage they do.

    • TheEndGameIsNear

      So then innovate and get ready for the day when you’re allowed to serve us stoners.

      Its not like we enjoy this shut in shit, its just that it isn’t quite acceptable yet to walk in vaping some weed and order a beer. We don’t like the nasty looks we get from parents and elder folks and you’re not helping. So we just stay home where the rules aren’t so strict.

      You’re a bar owner, so what can you do to entice metal heads and stoners inside instead of being ruled on out by the same small crew that is dwindling?

      I don’t think you realize some of us are truly not welcome with the prohibition crew around.

      You’re not catering to an upcoming consumer base, you’re hung up on the past and people who’ve grown out of the bar scene.

      Even the music played in bars is horrible pop or rap music. No one wants to hear it, have you tried opening your bar to live original bands that aren’t just crappy cover music from the 80’s?

      Have you tried playing underground music or metal songs and dirty hip hop that the radio won’t play? My generation hates that old crap.
      Try something different or you’ll be replaced by someone who is.

  • If they had just captured the nascent supply chain, they wouldn’t be having supply chain problems.

  • Farmer Scott

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      Puff, puff, pass. . .

      • And will, until we roll Willie up and smoke him.

        • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

  • Farmer Scott

    One more for good measure:

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      Oh, fuck beans. . . I love it! (and I’m NOT a fan of country music – I believe there are only 2 kinds of music; Rock, and Roll)

      Speaking of Toby Keith. . .

      • I prefer not to think or speak of Toby Keith since he caused so many deaths of young, impressionable ignorants with his jingoistic BS.

  • msKnowItAll

    Nevada politicians, judges, the state’s alcohol distributors and weed?

    Is this Mars Attacks!(1996 American comic science fiction film)?

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      • Farmer Scott

        If all country music was that bad….I’d probably listen to it twice as often!

  • TheEndGameIsNear

    Love how NV tied the special interest bundle to the only remaining opponent to fully legal weed as in parents:

    Schools, teachers, and social workers.

    I don’t doubt the lobby cartel is still plugging away full time to ensure none of their contractors or parents are using it.

    It will be hilarious when they ruin their own budgets not realizing NV ran the conflicted interest funding through the very special interest lobby that most opposed it and now they’re gonna beg for money like the rest of us to an opponent of the reverse political nature.

  • anonQ

    Freaking pot smoking hippies; don’t they ever get enough?

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      If you knew as much about pot as the average toker – you’d smoke pot, too.

  • Gordon Preston Brown

    Difficult to fathom that California, Washington, Colorado and now Nevada allow recreational sales of marijuana, while Texas will impose a forty year prison sentence for a single marijuana joint. Texas is a repressive, extremely backwards state that should never have been admitted to the United States of America.

  • gomurr

    So, the Alcohol Distributors are not interested in transport, but have sued to retain the exclusive right to do so because they want to be licensed to grow. Isn’t that some sort of blackmail? What prevents them from refusing to transport anyone’s product but their own for 18 months?