Just over a month ago, the state of Nevada opened up its recreational cannabis market, leaving newly open dispensaries flush with both customers and cash. The market seemed to have gotten off to a strong start, but issues with product distribution have created immense obstacles for local pot shops.
According a report released by the Nevada Department of Taxation, sales have dropped 20 to 30 percent over the one month period. The slump stems from the inability for dispensaries to keep up with customer demand, as they’ve been unable to stock their shelves due to distribution conflicts with alcohol wholesalers.
The voter-approved recreational cannabis legislation that passed last November deemed that liquor distributors should get first dibs on delivering product to dispensaries (for the first 18 months), but this glaring caveat has created a major shortage in supply, and the tax department has moved to open up distribution to other candidates. However, Judge James Todd Russell recently ruled in favor of alcohol wholesalers, claiming that the state must first provide evidence that these distributors are inadequate at the job.