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Nevada's Recreational Marijuana Market Approached $200M Last Year

Industry Grows As State Considers 'Intersections' With Gaming


Despite only kicking off in July, Nevada’s recreational marijuana industry sold nearly $200 million worth of the plant last year.

That’s according to figures released Friday by the Nevada Department of Taxation, per a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Those sales generated more than $30 million in tax revenue for the Silver State.

In Nevada, there’s a 15 percent wholesale tax, paid by both medical and adult-use (recreational) cultivators, as well as a 10 percent retail tax on recreational sales. The state also generates money from licensing fees paid by businesses in the space.

Recreational marijuana sales started in Nevada on July 1, 2017, during the middle of the annual World Series of Poker, a major tourist draw during the slower summer months.

Nevada still has a ways to go before catching up to Colorado’s market, which has grown to more than $1 billion annually, according to the Review-Journal.

Before the industry launched in the Silver State, the Department of Taxation received about 330 applications for recreational marijuana licenses. It issued 250 licenses statewide, which included more than 50 retail stores, 90 cultivation facilities, 65 product manufacturing facilities, 9 testing labs and more than 30 distributors.

More than 200 of those licenses were for Clark County, home to Las Vegas.

October’s sales of nearly $38 million have so far been the best month for the industry. Sales were $27 million during the first month, about double what Colorado had in its first month.

Thanks to the success of the industry, Nevada officials, including gaming regulators, are mulling over how gambling and weed can intersect. In November, the 12-member Nevada Gaming Policy Committee was revived to talk about the issue. The Committee is expected to meet again to continue the discussion. The situation was made even more complicated when earlier this year U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated he will follow through on trying to slow the industry’s growth.

Legal marijuana spend in the U.S. in 2016 grew 30 percent year-over-year to $6.7 billion, and sales could reach $30 billion by 2021, according to industry estimations.

In anticipation of potential legal marijuana in New Jersey, Atlantic City’s mayor recently visited Las Vegas to survey Sin City’s cannabis industry.

Tags: Marijuana,   Cannabis,   Weed,   Las Vegas,   Nevada