Emergency regulations for Nevada marijuana distribution pass tax commission

Photo: Nathan O'Neal | KSNV

The Nevada Tax Commission has approved emergency regulations that could allow new distribution of recreational marijuana across the state.

Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved the emergency regulations to determine if there are enough liquor wholesalers available to adequately distribute cannabis.

Liquor wholesalers have an exclusive 18-month window to distribute marijuana for recreational retail, part of the ballot proposal passed in November.

The Nevada Department of Taxation argued that only two liquor wholesalers have been able to successfully clear the application process, and other parties are need for distribution.

Liquor wholesalers say tax officials aren't working with them, however, and that only a few distributors are needed to supply retailers in Nevada.

Tax officials previously tried to open the distribution process to medical marijuana dispensaries, but liquor wholesalers argued in court that such action violated the law.

A Carson City judge sided with the wholesalers, saying the state needed to establish formal criteria to determine if there aren't enough distributors.

Meanwhile, several dispensary managers have said they are running out of product and cannot restock without distributors.

Emergency regulations were drafted to establish that formal criteria, with tax officials saying they were concerned legal retailers could run out of cannabis products, which would lead to customers returning to the black market.

Gov. Brian Sandoval backed the regulations. A spokeswoman said this week that the governor "continuously called for a well-regulated, restricted and respected recreational marijuana industry."


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