Nevada is still on track to begin recreational cannabis sales on July 1st, but new regulations for edibles have dispensary owners scrambling.
Tourism and gaming are the state’s largest industries. Under Nevada’s legislation, cannabis may only be consumed at a private residence. This could lead to more tourists purchasing edibles out of convenience. The idea that 63 percent of the state’s 40 million annual tourists would be buying edibles triggered lawmakers to apply more regulation to edible cannabis products.
Stephanie Klapstein, the spokesperson representing the Nevada Department of Taxation that enacted the new rules said,
“From day one, we want to make sure that potency, packaging and labeling are strict from the start.”
Edibles will now be sold in doses of 10mg or less with no more than 100mg per package. Any type of product that may appeal to children, such as gumdrops or lollipops, are prohibited. The packaging and labels must not use illustration or graphic details that might appeal to a child. Since many existing products don’t fit the new criteria, edible manufacturers are working with dispensaries to provide quick fixes so that their products are legal for sale. “We are frantically having our graphic people rework those as we speak,” said Nancy Whiteman, co-owner of Wana Brands in Colorado said,
Governor Brian Sandoval moved to support revised regulation that would go into effect on the first day recreational sales are scheduled to begin. Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for the governor’s office said,
“The Governor wants to see the state realize the revenues from its sales, and most importantly, wants a regulatory structure that is restricted, responsible and respected.”
As of July 1, adults 21 and older will be able to purchase 1 ounce of cannabis or less, as well as an eighth of an ounce of edible cannabis. As the ninth state to legalize recreational cannabis, Nevada has plenty of data to use as reference. “We really went around the country, looked at the best laws, and brought them here because we want to be the model,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom.
But it appears that Nevada will already have its own rules. Earlier in June, a court order gave state-licensed alcohol distributors the sole responsibility of transporting and distributing recreational cannabis. The state hopes to eliminate this order so that they may license distributors without the involvement of the alcohol industry. Currently, no other state has a regulation of this nature.
Industry experts in both the cannabis and alcohol industries have been speculating as to how recreational cannabis sales will affect alcohol sales in Nevada, a state with a thriving appetite for liquor. The number of tourists who may flock to Nevada for recreational cannabis within the confines of “America’s Playground” have investors keeping a close watch starting July 1.
“This is the ‘big boy’ state. If you are the ‘who’s who’ of the cannabis industry, you are in Nevada because of our tourism.” said Clint Cates, director of compliance for Mainstream Partners and Kynd Cannabis Co.
In the short term, dispensary owners are anticipating long lines on the first day of recreational sales, and are working with the local authorities to maintain public safety.