The chairman of the tax commission, Jim DeVolld, said the emergency regulation was needed as the state joined several others in the still-evolving world of legal marijuana sales.
After almost two weeks of dispensaries selling recreational marijuana without a way to restock their shelves, the pot will soon start flowing in Nevada.
Anticipating the problem, the Nevada tax department had tried to change the rules before legalization kicked in. They aim to ensure the retailers that started selling recreational pot July 1 don't run out of their diminishing stock amid overwhelming demand.
Nevada's distribution woes are unique among states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana.
A victory for the 47 dispensaries and 64 cultivators that generated approximately 40,000 transactions during the first 48 hours of business, today's endorsement by Gov. Sandoval is a win for both the dispensary owners and the voters who cast their ballots for unfettered access to recreational cannabis in the Silver State.
Kevin Benson, a lawyer for the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada who won the injunction blocking enforcement of the original regulation, said the new emergency rule-making is vulnerable to similar legal challenges.
Tax Commission member Thom Sheets said the answer was clear to him when no distributors had been approved.
Riana Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Assn., a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of retail pot shops, testified at the hearing that the situation was dire and told stories of stores running low on edibles and popular strains of marijuana.
"Without the ability to license marijuana distributors to continue the flow of product to the retail store, a high likelihood exists that consumers will revert to the black market", Contine wrote. "Without a resolution to this, sales can't go forward and establishments will have to let employees go". One was approved Wednesday and another Thursday. However, the Nevada Department of Taxation released a statement that, as of July 5, none of the seven alcohol wholesalers that have applied met the application requirements to complete the licensing process. The marijuana industry is off to a lucrative start in Nevada, raking in almost $3 million over the first four days of legal sales, however, the enormous consumer interest is causing prices to steadily climb, reports KTNV. This created a lawsuit that almost delayed the opening of the first retail shops, as alcohol wholesalers fought medical marijuana distributors for the right to produce and distribute cannabis for Nevada's legal market.
Stuck in the middle are dispensaries trying to turn a profit and distributors that say they are being left out in the cold.
The Nevada Department of Taxation indicated earlier this year it was prepared to do just that, but Carson City District Judge James Wilson granted a temporary restraining order last month upholding the liquor industry's exclusive distribution rights.