Recreational marijuana may not be on the menu in Nevada as planned in just 10 days. On Tuesday, a Carson City judge ruled there is a problem with getting pot from point “A” to point “B.”
When voters approved recreational pot Governor Brian Sandoval created a task force of law enforcement, industry and regulators to hopefully do it right.
“I think they came up with something that essentially may be a model for the rest of the country,” says Sandoval.
But there’s one thing they didn’t do, adequately address getting pot from point A, where it is grown to point B, where it is sold.
Here’s the problem. There was a little-known provision in the law: liquor distributors are the only ones who can take pot from point A to B for the first 18 months.
Michelle Smithson of medical marijuana dispensary, Sierra Wellness Center in Carson City explains why the marijuana industry cut liquor distributors in on this deal.
“That was necessary in order to get it passed because in the state of Nevada you are talking about a lot of money in the liquor industry,” says Smithson.
But that’s created this distribution problem.
“Especially when you bring an industry in that doesn’t have any experience with how to transport this stuff. I mean it is not liquor, it is a plant,” says Smithson.
Indeed, the state says none of the liquor companies that applied to transport marijuana are qualified. So the state was going to issue distribution licenses to dispensaries like Sierra Wellness, which is already moving medical pot for it’s stores.
But a judge said the state can’t do that, liquor companies would be irreparably harmed if they didn’t get exclusive recreational pot distribution as promised by the law.
“Umhmm, we have to let one of the liquor distributors come in and transport our product.”
“Yes, very frustrating, you know because we know what we are doing.”
One thing is for sure, in 10 days, people are going to want pot.
“So the big thing is that there is going to be a mad rush on July 1st at our doors no matter what.”
And unless regulators solve this snafu of getting pot from point A to B, that mad rush will go up in smoke.