Nevada officials are moving too fast.
The tourist season is just around the corner and many are wondering if Nevada officials are moving too fast. Nevada expects tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue from recreational sales. Rafael Lemaitre is the former member of the Obama administration’s Office of National Drug Policy. Lemaitre sees how sloppy implementation of recreation marijuana is going. He says Nevada is moving in a manner like a college student who skipped classes all term and is now cramming for finals.
Supporters are worried that the state won’t be ready to begin recreational sales on July 1st. “We’re not certain we’re going to be able to hit the July 1st date.” says Scot Rutledge. He ran the campaign to legalize cannabis is 2016.
Nevada officials are scrambling to meet the early July 1st due date because the tourist season is just around the corner. Recently there was a hiccup about who could be allowed to distribute cannabis when marijuana dispensaries initially attempted to obtain a recreational distribution license. Carson City Judge James Wilson recently issued a temporary block to only allow the Nevada Alcohol Wholesale Distributors the ability to distribute cannabis products.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) spoke with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) several times about his states experience with the marijuana movement. “We want to learn from the experience of other states,” says Sandoval.
The issue about where to legally smoke pot outside consumer’s homes is a big deal. Nevada officials worry that consumers will smoke on the Las Vegas strip and smoke pot to their hotel rooms. Causing law enforcement to be called several times a day, all summer. If vacationers want to smoke in public, Nevada officials want to provide a safe-space for them to do it. Police time and energy won’t be spent harassing the Las Vegas strip and hotels all summer long.
Nevada legislators argued over whether to allow pot clubs. According to Nevada attorneys, it doesn’t need to be a state issue on who gets to open cannabis clubs. These safe-spaces to smoke can be more of a local jurisdiction matter. The potential to attract tourists from around the world is too great to not allow cannabis clubs in places like Vegas.
Nevada’s Cannabis Tax Income
The state of Nevada expects to sell $700 million in weed products within the next two years. But they expect their projections to be on the low end of reality. They expect a gold rush scenario similar to what happened in Colorado, Washington and Oregon when they legalized and began selling recreational marijuana
Nevada is hoping to stop the black market for good.
When recreational sales become legalized, Nevada officials are optimistic that the black-market sales of cannabis will stop. And the money from cannabis sales will go pouring into the state instead. However, Nevada officials worry that rushing the process will give Jeff Sessions another excuse to enforce federal control. “The situation with federal enforcement is already tenable as it is. Rushing the process could also give Sessions another excuse to reassert federal control. Which should surprise no one given his track record this far,” Lemaitre said.
Featured Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast.