July 1 marked the day when retail sale of recreational marijuana became legal in Nevada where medical marijuana sales are already underway, thanks to the Measure 2 initiative passed by voters last November.
So now the question remains, where can you buy marijuana? Although recreational marijuana use is now legal, herbal wellness aficionados may have to wait until mid-month to purchase it in Sparks.
“My understanding is that Sparks is having a second reading on the regulations on July 10,” says Reef Dispensaries Store Manager Marty Mulligan. “If that goes well, then hopefully by the end of that week our Sparks dispensary will be able to sell recreationally,” he adds.
Mulligan said that a few weeks ago he attended a stakeholders meeting at Sparks City Hall where it was rumored that city staff would expedite the dispensaries’ recreational marijuana sales applications pending a positive response from the second reading.
After the stakeholders meeting in which local cultivators, laboratories and dispensaries gathered at city hall, the first reading of Bill #2719 was discussed again at the June 26 Sparks city council meeting. This discussion was about approving ordinance amending Sparks Municipal Code Title 5 to license existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell it at retail. Likewise, the code would allow cultivators, laboratories, and distributors to operate accordingly. The second reading and possible adoption of the Bill is set to be voted on at the city council’s July 10 meeting.
According the Sparks City Council meeting agenda notes on June 26, the medical marijuana industry is so new that it’s difficult for the city to forecast what the potential revenues and costs would be by allowing retail sales and expanded cultivation, testing, and production.
Amending the proposed ordinance and business licensing fees will help offset the city’s costs by imposing a one-time application fee of $5,000 and then based on the establishment’s gross receipts for the previous quarter, an additional fee will be applied based on the amounts that the state set. Governor Brian Sandoval set a maximum fee at 3 percent of an establishment’s gross revenue, identified in Senate Bill 487.
Therefore, if the council passes the new business license on Monday, then dispensaries could possibly start selling recreational marijuana by the end of next week.
Currently there are four establishments in Reno that are selling recreational marijuana including Sierra Wellness Connection, Mynt Cannabis Dispensary, Blum Reno and The Dispensary NV.
“We still have a bit of a wait, an hour or so,” The Dispensary NV staff reported on the Monday afternoon of July 3. The Dispensary NV prides itself on having a low wait time, but since the rec law took effect on July 1, the shop has been crazy.
“We’re open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but I really can’t talk right now because our phones have been ringing off the hook and we have a lot of orders to fill,” says The Dispensary NV Inventory Manager Rachel San Clemente.
Recreational marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas reportedly had lines out the door on July 1, as residents and tourists without medical marijuana cards lined up to make their first legitimate pot purchases. There has been such a demand for it that dispensaries have had to turn away customers. The most popular items purchased by those who could get through the door include marijuana flowers, edibles, and concentrates.
“I’m a very happy with the way sales have gone and continue to go, especially when you consider that the word didn’t really get out ahead of time.” said Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association and a store owner.
Out of the 44 dispensaries licensed in the State of Nevada to sell recreational marijuana, 39 of those dispensaries are in Las Vegas.
“This reminds me of the prohibition era…the day that recreational marijuana is allowed (in Sparks) will be a historic moment, a significant day for this generation. I’m excited for the direction this is going and to be a part of it,” says Mulligan.