Although Nevada is not expected to start selling recreational marijuana until sometime around mid 2018, one forward-thinking state lawmaker is planning to push a piece of legislation in the upcoming session that he hopes will expedite the process.
According to a report from CBS affiliate KLAS-TV, State Senator Tick Segerblom is currently drafting a bill, which he will submit to the state legislature at the beginning of the year, designed to give Nevada’s medical-marijuana dispensaries the right to temporarily sell cannabis products to the recreational sector while the newfound retail trade is being assembled.
With the recent passing of Question 2, the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana is technically set to become legal all across the Silver State, as of January 3. However, pot consumers are still going to be forced to purchase the herb from the black market until state officials get a grip on the regulatory affairs of the recreational sector—a process that will take at least another year for them to hash out.
It is for this reason that Segerblom, who recently returned from a fact-finding mission in Portland, wants the state to follow in the footsteps of Oregon by passing legislation intended to give pot consumers early access to legal weed courtesy of the state’s medical-marijuana market.
“They allowed the existing medical dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana and as far as we could tell, there’s no reason we couldn’t do that in Nevada,” Segerblom told CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.
The primary mission in providing early pot sales, according to Segerblom, is to chip away at the strength of the black market and ensure that Nevada reaps all of the financial benefits of its recently passed ballot initiative.
“I think, given our tourist economy… we’re looking at close to $100 million in just taxes,” Segerblom said.
In spite of the fact that several states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, only Oregon has implemented a plan to give people the ability to purchase legal weed before retail sales are ready to go. This has mostly to do with Oregon lawmakers, instead of fighting the progress of statewide legalization, being adamant about establishing policies that do not encourage consumers to seek out black-market sources for weed.
If all goes according to plan, Nevada’s existing medical-marijuana dispensaries could be allowed to sell marijuana to the average, adult consumer by fall of 2017.