Some of the 47 licensed retailers have reported twice as much business as they anticipated
Plants are on display during the first day of recreational marijuana sales at The Source dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, photo: AP/John Locher
13 of July 2017 14:14:32
CARSON CITY – Tourists looking to buy newly legal pot in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities are counting on the state to make changes as overwhelming demand has started emptying shelves.Regulators planned to vote Thursday on emergency rules that would speed up licensing for pot distributors, a sticking point that has launched a legal battle and is threatening the flow of supplies after dozens of retailers started selling recreational marijuana on July 1.Nevada's law is unique among legal pot states, dictating that only alcohol wholesalers can transport the drug from growers to storefronts for the next 18 months.Fewer than 10 alcohol wholesalers have applied for distribution licenses, and as of last week, none had met the qualifications, the state Department of Taxation said.Many retailers were previously licensed to sell and distribute medical pot, so they started stockpiling supplies months ago in an anticipation of high demand for recreational marijuana.[caption id="attachment_66700" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] People wait in line at the Essence cannabis dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Photo: AP/John Locher[/caption]Despite the preparations, some of the 47 licensed retailers have reported twice as much business as they anticipated, tax department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said."I have heard of some dispensaries running on fumes, if you will," Nevada Dispensary Association President Andrew Jolley said.The Nevada Tax Commission was set to consider a new regulation to license some pot retailers to serve as their own distributors if there are not enough alcohol distributors to do the job.The proposal would at least temporarily clear the way for sales amid a legal battle over distribution. The powerful alcohol lobby won a court order that allows only them to distribute pot.The state is appealing to the Nevada Supreme Court but is trying to rewrite the voter-passed law to facilitate issuing distribution licenses to existing retailers.