Nevada Cannabis Legalization

Nevada voters legalized medical cannabis on the ballot in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2013 that the state Legislature passed a law allowing for dispensaries.

Voters on Nov. 8 passed ballot Question 2, giving adults in Nevada the ability to possess up to an ounce of pot. The new law – known officially as the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – takes effect in Nevada on January 1, 2017. Under the new law, only business that have medical pot certificates were allowed to apply for recreational licenses for the first 18 months and the application period for Nevada’s early-start cannabis sales is officially underway.

Recreational cannabis became legal in Nevada on July 1 2017, and some medical cannabis dispensaries that received adult-use licenses began sales after the clock strikes midnight.

Nevada Cannabis Perspectives

Nevada retailers sold nearly $200 million worth of recreational cannabis since adult-use sales began six months ago. Currently, average monthly sales in Nevada are about $35 million. Cannabis sales are driven by two main factors:

  • Nevada’s early start program.
  • Over 40 million visitors travel to Las Vegas each year.

The number of retail stores allowed in Nevada will be based on a county’s population, with initial estimates suggesting this will be around 130 statewide. Rec sales in Nevada have yet to rise in consecutive months. This suggests the market is fueled by tourist spending.

Nevada’s recreational cannabis could record sales of $450 million-$550 million, with tourist spending accounting for the bulk of it.


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