Nevada pot sales bigger than first months in other states

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L.E. Baskow Consumers wait in a long line at Reef Dispensaries in Las Vegas as recreational cannabis sales begin at midnight in Nevada on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Published Friday, Sept. 29, 2017|12:04 p.m.

Updated 2 hours, 45 minutes ago

RENO,– The very first month of legal sales of recreational marijuana in Nevada substantially outpaced the opening month of sales in other states where it’s legal for adult use.

The state Department of Taxation says Nevada dispensaries sold $27.1 million worth of pot in July. That compares to about $14 million in each of Oregon and Colorado, and $3.8 million in Washington when those states first legalized recreational sales– Colorado and Washington in 2012 and Oregon in 2014.

The combination of a 15 percent wholesale tax and a 10 percent retail tax created $3.68 million in state tax earnings, Nevada Department of Taxation spokesperson Stephanie Klapstein said Thursday. The numbers are consistent with projections legal pot sales will bring in $120 million over the next two years, she stated.

A few of that tax cash is headed to the state’s rainy day fund this year. However the large majority moving forward is dedicated to schools.

The $120 million forecast anticipates $5 million in month-to-month tax earnings. But Klapstein said officials really predicted no revenue for July because of uncertainty surrounding licensing and regional zoning ordinances.

“I ‘d prevent anyone from dividing up the total projections by month,” Klapstein stated. “The numbers ready. There’s absolutely nothing to recommend we are not on track with the biennial forecasts.”

The ballot procedure Nevada voters authorized last November legalizing pot required retail, wholesale and circulation licenses to be released by Jan. 1, 2018.

But Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed in January– and the Nevada Legislature authorized– an “early-start” program to introduce sales in July, the very first month of the state’s .

“That permitted us to start getting the earnings right at the beginning of the biennium,” Klapstein said. “We think those wholesale numbers will continue to increase.”

The state has now certified 53 retail stores, 92 growing operations, 65 producers, 9 screening labs and 31 suppliers. Four-fifths of the 250 overall license centers are in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, the department stated.

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