Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Legal Weed In Nevada: One Year Later

This month, July 1 to be specific, marks the one-year anniversary of recreational cannabis sales in Nevada, eight months after voters made their high-minded decision. And though social clubs have yet to happen and imbibers must do so in private, legal cannabis sales have surpassed projections.

The program itself seems to have been a fairly easy one to implement, with little drama and without negative social impact as a whole. Of course, advocates want to see more out of the law and opponents want to see stats and maintain safety, like keeping an eye on increased drugged driving, which has yet to see a spike.

The recreational market was implemented much more quickly than the original medical marijuana law, which was voted on in 2000 and put into practice in 2003 with actual storefronts to purchase one’s medicine.

Now, recreational sales have made it past the Department of Taxation’s predictions, generating over 55 million in tax revenue in the first 10 months (the most current available data), whereas the Department had projected around 50 million for the entire year.

So aside from creating thousands upon thousands of jobs in the cannabis sector, from budtender to grower to distributor and beyond, the recreational program has also created state jobs in the way of administrators and regulators, just to keep up with the rolling changes.

And the bigger numbers and increased jobs come after a couple early hiccups. There was the two-week gap in sales right at the beginning due to a lack of distributors, and, of course, the state survived along with other medical and recreational states when Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to put the brakes on cannabis, period.

Experts say that Nevada has had the best first year out of all recreational states, but we’ll see if that holds up once California hits her one-year mark. For the time being, Nevada and its residents have a lot to be thankful for due to recreational cannabis. Especially the employees of Caesars, which stopped their drug testing program back in May.

Issues that are left, such as social clubs, opponent concerns and, very importantly, how the moneys collected via tax revenue will be distributed, are going to be addressed at the next legislative session.


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