Nevada Rushes to Address Shortage of Newly Legalized Marijuana
New York Times / By Thomas Fuller /
The marijuana is flowing again in Nevada.
A surge in demand for cannabis, newly legalized in the state, has emptied shelves and caught the industry off guard, spurring state officials into action.
Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, endorsed emergency measures late last week designed to increase the flow of marijuana to the state’s 47 licensed retail outlets, some of which have had lines out the door since legal pot was made available at dispensaries on July 1.
On Wednesday and Thursday, as fears of a marijuana shortage mounted, regulators announced they would issue the first two marijuana distribution licenses.
Deonne E. Contine, the executive director of the Department of Taxation, said in an interview Thursday that the emergency orders, which were being considered by the state’s Tax Commission on Thursday, could help expedite the issuing of more licenses.
“We have a legal product, we have legal businesses,” she said. “We have a goal of facilitating that market.”
The alacrity of Nevada officials to implement the state’s new marijuana policies underline the dissonance and contradictions in American law and politics over marijuana. Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has been explicit in his view that marijuana is a dangerous drug and should remain officially classified with heroin as a substance with no medical value. But in Nevada, the Republican governor is endorsing emergency procedures to ensure that the shelves of cannabis stores are well stocked.
About two-thirds of states allow medical marijuana sales and a smaller but growing number of states like Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts and Washington allow recreational cannabis for adults. California’s recreational marijuana sales will begin next year.
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