Nevada licenses first rec MJ distributors, eases transport rule

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(Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

Nevada regulators on Thursday licensed the first two recreational marijuana distributors in the state, then rewrote a regulation to speed up the processing of transport permits.

The moves are expected to help alleviate concerns that Nevada’s cannabis retailers will run out of supplies because of unexpectedly strong demand since the state’s adult-use industry launched July 1.

Only hours before the Tax Commission voted under an emergency regulation to revise the state distribution rule, Crooked Wine Co. of Reno, Nevada, and Rebel Wine of Las Vegas were granted licenses to transport rec marijuana products by the Department of Taxation (DOT), a spokeswoman said.

The two licenses were awarded in compliance with a court order upholding alcohol wholesalers’ exclusive rights to transport cannabis from growers to storefronts for 18 months.

Crooked Wine won’t actually transport rec marijuana products. The company has struck a partnership with Reno-based Blackbird Logistics to deliver marijuana under Crooked Wine’s license.

It’s unclear whether Rebel Wine will distribute rec cannabis on its own.

Also, the DOT spokeswoman said it’s too soon to know if the two alcohol wholesalers will be able to handle the demand for Nevada’s 47 licensed retailers.

Meanwhile, the Tax Commission eased the regulation – at least for now – on the issuance of distribution licenses.

The rule to permit some retailers to transport MJ from growers to storefronts in certain situations was approved despite an argument by an attorney for the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada that the new regulation is just as illegal as the one the judge threw out.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily