Nevada’s Department of Taxation has begun accepting applications from existing medical marijuana businesses interested in selling recreational MJ under the state’s “early start” program.
Existing medical cannabis cultivators, processors and retailers that are in good standing with the state are eligible to apply for the early launch of rec sales.
The application period for the temporary licenses started May 15 and closes May 31, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The early start program will begin July 1 and run until January. That’s when regulators are due to finalize rules for the rec program, which isn’t expected to fully launch until 2018.
Nevada regulators approved the early start because of fears that waiting too long would encourage black-market cannabis purchases.
The temporary licenses are good for six months, according to the Review-Journal.
Candidates must pay $5,000 to apply. Applicants who are accepted will pay varying fees depending on the type of license:
- Cultivators: $30,000
- Retailers: $20,000
- Distributors: $15,000
- Processors: $15,000
- Testing Labs: $10,000
Nevada’s recreational market could generate as much as $75 million this year and up to $550 million annually after that, according to Marijuana Business Daily forecasts.