Today, the Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations proposed by the Department of Taxation allowing the state to issue recreational marijuana licenses by July 1, 2017. The ballot measure requires the state to initiate sales by January 1, 2018, but this “early start” program will allow businesses to open six months sooner.
Only medical marijuana establishments that are already in operation can apply to function as recreational retailers during the early start period. The establishments must be in good standing and must pay a one-time, nonrefundable application fee as well as a specific licensing fee. The establishment must also provide written confirmation of compliance with their municipality’s zoning and location requirements.
The tax department plans to accept applications from May 15 to May 31 of this year, and a second application period is anticipated later in the year. The incentive for the early start program stems from Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed budget request, which includes $70 million from recreational marijuana taxes over two years to support education.
Now, the focus shifts to local governments given that marijuana companies need both a state and local license to operate.
Medical marijuana patients in Nevada will finally have legal access to their medicine.
On Wednesday, 13 years after Nevada voters approved the medical use of marijuana, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed SB 374 into law. The bill establishes the regulatory framework for medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, thereby putting an end to patients’ decade-long struggle to obtain their medicine safely. The bill will also allow patients to continue growing their own plants (and increases the number they may possess) until 2016.
The law allows the state to license up to 66 dispensaries throughout the state, distributed according to population density.
Additionally, the state will impose medical marijuana-specific taxes, of which 75% will fund education and 25% will be spent on implementing and enforcing the regulations.
The governor’s approval of the bill was sparked by Judge Donald Mosley’s critique last year of the state’s medical marijuana law. Mosley declared the existing law “unconstitutional” for failing to provide patients with the legal means to obtain their medicine.
Nevada is now the 14th state to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.