Facing rec MJ shortage, Nevada considers ’emergency’ action

Higher-than-expected recreational marijuana sales have prompted Nevada officials to consider adopting an emergency regulation that could alleviate a supply shortage that has hit the state since its adult-use law went into effect July 1.

A “statement of emergency” endorsed by Nevada’s governor would allow the Department of Taxation to consider a larger pool of applicants for distribution licenses that allow the transport of recreational marijuana from cultivation and packaging sites to retailers. The Tax Commission will vote on the regulation Thursday.

As of Friday, Nevada regulators hadn’t issued any distribution licenses, and medical marijuana dispensaries with adult-use licenses are permitted to sell only the cannabis products they have on hand until the distribution issue is resolved.

Earlier this year, regulators opened the distribution application process to businesses that were already transporting marijuana products to dispensaries, but a judge – upholding the law voters passed in November – said the state can accept applications only from wholesale alcohol distributors.

However, no alcohol wholesalers have completed the licensing process, and with no licensed distributors, retailers will soon be out of cannabis.

The Nevada Dispensary Association estimated that the 47 medical marijuana dispensaries with adult-use licenses generated about $3 million in sales between July 1-4, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

“We previously were informed the dispensaries may have up to 60-day supplies of product,” a spokesman for the governor wrote in an email. “We are now informed that many have only days or weeks of product to be sold.”

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily