As you may already know, legislators and Nevada officials have been pushing hard to make recreational marijuana sales happen for residents and tourists alike head of the July Fourth weekend. Unfortunately, the state’s plans to start receiving the benefit of an additional 700 million dollars over the course of the next two years could be delayed.
Just a few weeks ago, on the last day to submit temporary applications for recreational marijuana sales, the liquor lobby filed a restraining order in an eleventh hour move to assert control over the recreational marijuana industry. Interestingly, until the filing of the order, liquor wholesalers and distributors had failed to submit their applications or begin the process of obtaining their recreational marijuana distribution licenses.
The decision of the tax commission to open up an early start program for medical marijuana businesses to participate was also partially instigated by the lack of action on the part of liquor retailers. In fact, according to the state’s tax commission, which will be regulating the recreational marijuana industry in Nevada, the single application for recreational marijuana sales submitted by a liquor wholesaler was filed on the same day as as the restraining order.
According to the attorneys for Nevada’s Department of Taxation, a draft regulation in March was passed as the department had determined that interest wasn’t high enough among alcohol distributors to merit allowing them exclusive rights to recreational marijuana sales.
Nevertheless, the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada filed a legal complaint, arguing that the ballot measure Nevada residents voted on gives liquor wholesalers exclusive rights to marijuana distribution licenses during the first 18 months of cannabis sales in the state. A judge in Carson City agreed with the lobby on May 31st and approved the initial restraining order.
Lawyers for both industries spoke on Tuesday and Carson City District Judge James Wilson rejected the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit and scheduled a day-long hearing for June 20.
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