Shortly after the state legalized its recreational use, Nevada’s marijuana market is burgeoning, lacerating economists’ projected supply and demand curves.
Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) issued a state of emergency Friday, buying time for officials to ease the pot shortage, as they reevaluate the market for distributors.
“Based on reports of adult-use marijuana, sales already far exceeding the industry’s expectations at the state’s 47 licensed retail marijuana stores and the reality that many stores are running out of inventory, the Department must address the lack of distributors immediately,” the Department of Taxation said in a statement. “Some establishments report the need for delivery within the next several days.”
When Nevada legalized cannabis back in November, liquor distributors were granted sole rights to move the drug for 18 months. However, many of these distributors failed to meet licensing requirements.
“We continue to work with the liquor wholesalers who have applied for distribution licenses, but most don’t yet meet the requirements that would allow us to license them. Even as we attempted to schedule the final facility inspection for one of the applicants this week, they told us their facility was not ready and declined the inspection. As of mid-day Friday, not one distribution license has been issued,” Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the Department of Taxation, told USA Today.
Nevada retailers that sold medicinal marijuana quickly added recreational to their menus when it became legal, but have been left with a diminishing supply.
“The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state,” the Department of Taxation’s statement continued. “They have hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the demands of the market. Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to retail stores will result in many of these people losing their jobs and will bring this nascent market to a grinding halt.”
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