Since the launch of recreational marijuana sales in Nevada, Sin City has been lighting up in an increasingly broad array of ways. With less than two full months of recreational marijuana sales in the Silver State, already the industry has been hit with a series of intense highs and lows—all of which have many asking: what does the future hold for recreational marijuana in Las Vegas?
To the outsider, the launch of recreational marijuana sales in Nevada, the home state of Sin City, may seem like an obvious or inevitable occurrence. As those who have been a part of the more than 20-year push to have access to legalized marijuana, launching recreational sales in the Silver State came at the end of a long road on a ride that hasn’t quite ended yet.
Las Vegas ReLeaf was proud to ring in the first purchases of recreational marijuana minutes after midnight on July 1, 2017. Four days later, as the city wrapped up its first week of recreational marijuana sales, the Nevada Dispensary Association reported that the first four days of recreational marijuana sales in Nevada generated an incredible $3 million in sales and around $500,000 in tax revenue.
The growth wasn’t relegated to Las Vegas either. That weekend, Reno’s four dispensaries grossed huge numbers, even in comparison to Las Vegas’ 40 dispensaries with recreational licenses at the time. For example, Blum Dispensaries, which have locations in Reno and Las Vegas, made $100,000 in sales during the first 24 hours in Reno while the marijuana business’s three Las Vegas locations brought in $90,000 together during their first 24-hours of sales.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, in the days before recreational marijuana sales in Nevada were set to launch, the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada (IADON) filed a temporary restraining order against the state, asking the court to ensure they get “first dibs” on cannabis distribution rights.
According to the lobby’s attorney, liquor distributors took issue with the tax commission’s standard for determining whether there was enough interest from liquor distributors to sufficiently serve the marijuana market. Per these regulations, if the department decides there are an insufficient number of applications from liquor distributors within the first 18 months of recreational marijuana sales, then existing medical marijuana businesses could apply for distribution rights as well.
As you may have seen or heard, the first few weeks of recreational cannabis sales rocked dispensaries from across the city. In fact, our wares were being sold so rapidly that the Governor himself issued a statement of emergency over the need to get distribution rights ironed out as quickly as possible.
The most recent update came on August 17, when a Carson City judge lifted the temporary restraining order from the Nevada Department of Taxation and cleared the way for the agency to issue marijuana distribution licenses to more than just liquor licensees. Though we have yet to hear from the state on whether or not they will wait for the appeal process to end before issuing licenses, freeing up distribution will be essential to the growth of our cannabis industry.
Sparked by news of events like “Cannabis and Yoga” and others, Clark County officials in Las Vegas issued 100 letters to businesses in the recreational marijuana industry, warning them against participation in advertising or events that could be considered promoting public consumption.
The letter threatened to suspend or revoke the licenses of dispensaries deemed to be involved with non-licensed pot businesses or any event “that promotes public consumption.” The letter specifically mentioned it was unlawful for pot businesses to publicize events like marijuana yoga, swimming events, and even parties or dinners held in a private residence. Further, the county made sure to note that consumption in a vehicle, including tour buses and limousines, is unlawful and puts both the driver and passengers at risk for citation or worse.
When it comes to making sure that our customers have access to high-quality, legal recreational marijuana in Las Vegas, our budtenders and delivery service always go the extra mile. Stop by our premier marijuana dispensary near the Strip today!