Recreational cannabis was passed by Nevada voters in November 2016. As counties and state representatives formulated regulations, we’ve has been patiently awaiting the day that Sin City opens its doors to the cannabis community. Though recreational sales won’t be legal until July 1, 2017, Nevada residents have been able to use cannabis recreationally starting January 1, 2017. Recreational use is allowed on private property, so for now, puffing in casinos is not on the docket. While the citizens of Nevada are allowed to consume cannabis recreationally, buying recreational cannabis remains illegal.
To remedy this legal irony, medical dispensaries in the state will be allowed to sell recreationally to Nevada residents until January 1, 2018, when statewide recreational shops open for business. This early implementation will also allow the state to start collecting tax revenue from the industry. Under the proposed budget from Governor Brian Sandoval, this revenue is crucial to keeping the recreational budget proposal on track. The current budget proposal from the Governor’s office also includes a projection of $70 million collected from recreational cannabis sales in the first two years of the program.
During this transition period, medical dispensaries will have the option to apply for a temporary recreational license. Interested dispensaries can submit applications to Nevada’s Department of Taxation starting May 15. To obtain the license, dispensary owners will have to pay steep fees and have good standing for the last six months. Medical dispensaries that go through this process will divide their inventories into medical and recreational stock. Medical patients can still enter these facilities with valid MMJ Identification and will pay 2% tax. Recreational users will pay 15% wholesale tax on top of an 8.25% sales tax, they will shop alongside medical patients during this interim phase. Nevada residents will certainly be supporting the infrastructure of recreational cannabis with tax percentages that high.
Now, both Nevada and Canada are projected to run operational recreational cannabis programs by July 2018. What state is next? Is there a specific country that has recently legalized that you’re excited to visit? Tell us in the comments!