In less than two weeks of recreational marijuana legalization in Nevada, the state has officially run out of recreational weed. Stores ran dry in record time, highlighting the fact that demand way exceeds supply. Hilariously, yet seriously, state officials in Nevada responded by declaring a state of emergency because stores do not have enough weed to sell. A dire, disastrous situation indeed.
Recreational Weed Sales in Nevada
Nevada is breaking quite a few cannabis records. On Saturday, July 1, 2017, the state of Nevada officially made recreational sales legal. Citizens celebrated in the streets, emptied ATMs in readiness of cash sales, packed full all events and shows, and welcomed the state’s first legal recreational weed sales with great enthusiasm. A couple even married, with full cannabis bouquet and enormous pocket-bud.
Locals and tourists alike cheered and braved long lines to greet the first day of legal sales. Nevada is now the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana, and expectations of its market suggest it will outperform all others. This is because millions of tourists already flock to Las Vegas every year. First-timers, veterans, pensioners, and youngsters defied the heat with gusto to buy their first legal pot.
Cannabis Shortages in Nevada
On Friday, Governor Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., himself declared the state of emergency, as it will give state officials the authority to draft new rules to ease the marijuana shortage. According to a statement released by the state’s Department of Taxation, it plans to implement emergency regulations that will make marijuana sales accessible to liquor wholesalers, who can help the supply crisis and profit from it.
“Because recreational sales clearly exceed industry predictions, the reality that 47 licensed cannabis dispensaries have no inventory highlights a distribution problem. The Department of Taxation is addressing the shortage of distributors.”
Consumers are unhappy about the shortage and there is a need for immediate delivery of weed supplies. After passing the law legalizing marijuana in November, the state promised liquor distributors sole rights to marijuana distribution for 18 months. However, many distributors failed to meet the necessary requirements for licensing. As is now obvious, this compromises the entire supply chain.
Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Nevada
According to the Department of Taxation’s statement, marijuana legalization in Nevada is not going as smoothly as planned. The state is working with alcohol wholesalers applying for licenses to distribute weed legally, but few meet the requirements or standards that would allow the state to issue licenses to them. Facility inspections are under postponement too, as they are not yet ready for large-scale trade.
By noon on Friday, the state still had not issued a single distribution license. Dispensaries initially permitted to sell medical cannabis are now selling recreational weed too. By law, they may only receive supplies from licensed distributors. Because of the lack of efficient distribution, stores may not even source inventory from elsewhere. As a result, supply is diminishing in every cannabis dispensary.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have built statewide facilities to ensure a smooth-flowing marijuana industry. Business owners are the main investors. To ensure the market can meet consumer expectations, these companies have hired, trained, and employed thousands of people. A huge percentage of the population relies heavily on the success of this industry.
Unless the state resolves distributor-licensing issues quickly, stores will be unable to sell product, jobs will disappear, people will be without access, and the market will simply stop functioning. Voters approved recreational weed use in November last year, joining Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and very soon, California, in permitting the legal sale of a federally illegal substance.
Although recreational pot is now legal in Nevada, there are still laws you must comply with or risk trouble. Only adults, being those 21-years or older, may enter a dispensary and buy an ounce of weed. You may only use it in on private property and not in public spaces, including casinos, hotels, and the infamous Las Vegas Strip. You will pay $600 for a misdemeanor. That is, if you can get any weed at all.