On July 1, Nevada locals and tourists visiting from out of state waited hours in line in triple-digit temperatures to become the first in the state to purchase legal recreational marijuana.
Less than two weeks later, the 47 retailers licensed to sell the drug are running out of supply.
The Nevada Tax Commission, a subsidiary of the state Department of Taxation, has passed a new regulation to address the shortage in a unanimous vote.
The commission found that the current pool of stores licensed to distribute marijuana is insufficient to support the market. It will reopen applications and allow dispensaries previously operating in the medical marijuana program to vie for a spot in the recreational market.
The regulation come as a response to a “statement of emergency” issued by the department and endorsed by Governor Brian Sandoval late last week.
The governor did not declare a “state of emergency,” which is typically used in times of natural disaster when local government requires the help of state agencies. Rather, a statement of emergency allows for swift changes in regulations during temporary scenarios, said Mari St. Martin, communications director of the Office of Governor Brian Sandoval, in a statement.
Nearly 50 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. When sales got underway on July 1, those retailers could sell their inventory to anyone over the age of 21 with a valid…