From Wayne Newton’s plastic face to Guy Fieri’s frosted tips, Nevada is home to many modern marvels. The Hoover Dam, 24/7 Wedding Chapels, legalized prostitution and non-existent drinking laws come to mind when extolling the virtues of the Silver State. Soon recreational marijuana sales will be added to the short list of reasons Nevada isn’t the worst state in the Union.
Earlier this week Nevada’s Department of Taxation sanctioned temporary regulations that allow for recreational cannabis sales to begin as early as July 1—six months prior to originally being scheduled. Current medical marijuana establishments in good standing with the state will be permitted to apply for a license to provisionally sell recreational cannabis ahead of the initial January 1, 2018 start date.
Reciprocity and delivery services have long made Nevada a bit more tolerable for medical marijuana patients less inclined to wake up with a tiger in the bathroom. From here on out—every conference attendee, eloper, internet marketer, blue hair and green thumb headed to the desert not with the express interest of fucking shit up will have the opportunity to act responsibly and adhere to local ordinances while enjoying legally purchased cannabis. It may be a pipe dream to think free joints will being to be passed out to players lining blackjack and baccarat tables but a time is upon us where anything is possible.
A win is a win, however any notion of common sense prevailing or leading this decision were quickly dashed when Deonne Contine, Executive Director at the Department of Taxation opened her mouth to the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
“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.”
If it doesn’t make dollars it won’t make sense. Candidates for the temporary licenses will need to cough up a non-refundable fee of $5,000 in addition to between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on the classification of license they’ll be applying for. The budget calls for roughly 70 million dollars in taxes to be collected from recreational marijuana over the next two years. Sales tax and an additional 15 percent excise tax on wholesale purchases will provide the state with plenty of extra money, which may help clean up puke from the strip or apprehend drunk drivers or fund public education.
Progress is never without its detractors. Members of the alcohol industry desperate not to be left out the cash grab associated with legal cannabis have been pouting after the Department of Taxation dashed their hopes for a monopoly surrounding the distribution of Nevada’s recreational cannabis. The determination was made that an insufficient amount of distributor licenses from people holding wholesaler liquor dealer’s licenses were present to serve the new recreational market and applications will now be made available to those outside of the liquor lobby.
Despite the crybaby tactics and early poo-pooing from a variety of special interest groups, Nevada will continue its descent into the madness of regulated cannabis sales and reap the economic windfall that comes with the territory.