CBS Local – Less than two weeks after Nevada began allowing recreational marijuana sales, stores are running out of pot to sell, according to the state’s Department of Taxation.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) endorsed the department’s call for a “statement of emergency” on Friday, which would allow for more licensed distributors, The Reno-Gazette Journal reported.
About 50 Nevada dispensaries have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use, and began to sell it on July 1. But those same dispensaries do not have the legal authority to restock their inventory, and several told state officials they expected to run out of marijuana shortly after beginning to sell it.
Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said a collapsed marijuana market could jeopardize the collection of tax revenue that the Silver State spends on public education.
“A halt in this market will lead to a hole in the state’s school budget,” Klapstein said.
In Nevada, alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to transport marijuana from growers to storefronts, due to a temporary court order that was extended in June by a Carson City district judge.
The purpose of this arrangement is to “promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol,” and to help protect liquor stores from losing business as the demand for recreational marijuana rises, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
Nevada is the only U.S. state with legalized recreational marijuana that has this type of policy, despite being temporary.
The Department of Taxation has not issued any distribution licenses to alcohol wholesalers as of Friday due to incomplete applications and zoning issues, according to The Reno-Gazette Journal.
But a statement of emergency could help dispensaries restock their marijuana inventories. Doing so would allow the Department of Taxation to issue distribution licenses to more applicants beyond alcohol wholesalers.
The Nevada Tax Commission is expected to vote on the regulation Thursday.