Recreational Marijuana Sales in Nevada Reach $38 Million in October 2017
October was a very good month for recreational marijuana sales in Nevada. In its best month ever, sales reached nearly $38 million. What’s more, not only are recreational marijuana dispensaries in Nevada happy, but so is the state government. Since it began allowing recreational sales of marijuana in the summer of 2017, it has received $20 million in tax revenue.
Stephanie Klapstein, who is a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Taxation, says that Las Vegas recreational marijuana revenue is about what they had expected, or perhaps a little above it.
In November of 2016, Nevada — as well California, Massachusetts and Maine — legalized recreational marijuana through ballot initiatives. Though Nevada was the first state to actually begin sales, with the others being delayed because of regulatory issues and assorted political disagreements.
Nevada has not only been the first of the four states to begin recreational marijuana sales, it is beating states that began such sales before it. For example, after 4 months of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, revenue was only a little more than $22 million.
Interestingly, many recreational marijuana dispensaries in Nevada are actually looking forward to when California begins recreational sales. They think that legal sales in California will drive down the black market for the product in that state, which comes across the border into Nevada and affects legal sales.
Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas — and all the tourists it serves — has so far been the driving force behind recreational cannabis sales in Las Vegas, which are projected to rise substantially in the coming years. New Frontier, which is a marijuana analytics company, believes that the state’s marijuana market by the year 2020 will be around $622 million per year.
This does not mean that there are not lingering issues to resolve. One such issue is figuring out where people should be able to smoke or consume marijuana. At the moment, there are no designated public areas in the state where people can use marijuana. Using marijuana in public is even illegal in places were people can still publicly smoke tobacco. In fact, none of the states that have so far legalized recreational marijuana have created public consumption areas, though the city of Denver is experimenting with a pilot program that would do just that.
Not having a public place to legally use marijuana is a big problem in Las Vegas, with its 40 million tourists. Tick Segerblom, who is a Nevada state senator, says that the state is telling people around the world to come to Las Vegas specifically because recreational marijuana is legal, but at the same time it is telling them that they can’t use it anywhere. They are not even allowed to smoke it in their own hotel rooms, let alone on the Strip or at a concert or in a restaurant.
However, state officials do not seem to be open to implementing designated consumption areas, at least not right away. When asked about it, an unnamed Clark County commissioner said that they did not want to be the first place to allow such areas. Other commissioners agreed, and they insist that if they were to allow such areas that it would just increase scrutiny from the federal government, particularly from the Justice Department.
Still, even without designated consumption areas, it seems that Nevada’s recreational marijuana industry is doing just fine, and it is likely that it will only do better in the future.