Nevada officials coping with "emergency" marijuana shortage

Nevada made recreational marijuana use legal on July 1, in keeping with a popular vote to legalize marijuana use statewide in November 2016.

Kristy Douglas | Jul 14, 2017

   

Marijuana is legal in Nevada as of this month, but demand for cannabis far outstrips supply due to a critical shortage of licensed distributors, according to state officials. The officials are considering implementing "emergency measures" to alleviate the shortage, such as widening the pool of potential applicants eligible for licenses to distribute.
Brayden Sutton, CEO of Friday Night Inc, which owns and controls both hemp and cannabis based operations in Nevada, told Forbes that "I don't think anyone anticipated this strong of an initial demand, and by all accounts it's a very real possibility that the state could literally be out of sellable products in August.
Nevada made recreational marijuana use legal on July 1, in keeping with a popular vote to legalize marijuana use statewide in November 2016. The law authorizes liquor wholesalers to distribute marijuana as well. But the state's tax department said that most liquor wholesalers do not meet the license requirements.
Meanwhile, demand is soaring. Sales reached an estimated $3 million in the first four days of legalization, according to the Nevada Dispensary Association.
The state has only 47 stores that can currently sell marijuana. And tax department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said that many of them are running out amid "reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industry's expectations."
Canadian officials expressed similar concerns about marijuana supply in their country last month, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with heads of the provincial governments to discuss a 12-month timeline for legalizing marijuana throughout Canada. Ontario's finance minister said that a "supply crunch" would be likely in the near term and that it could undercut the effort toward legalization.

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