Nevada Adopts Emergency Pot Rules
State aims to fix pot bottleneck
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 14, 2017 2:04 AM CDT
In this Saturday, July 1, 2017, file photo, people line up at the NuLeaf marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas.    (John Locher)

(Newser) – Nevada moved Thursday to reduce supply problems at recreational marijuana stores that have faced overwhelming demand for newly legal pot and the possibility of their shelves going empty. Regulators approved emergency rules that would speed up licensing for pot distributors, a sticking point that launched a legal battle and threatened the flow of supplies after dozens of retailers started selling recreational marijuana on July 1, the AP reports. Nevada's law is unique among legal pot states, dictating that only alcohol wholesalers can transport the drug from growers to storefronts for the next 18 months. But the state rewrote the rules Thursday used to enforce the state's pot law to make it clear that it's legal under certain circumstances to license some retailers to transport pot from growers to storefronts.

Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed the proposal last week after a judge ruled in June state law dictates only alcohol wholesalers can transport pot from growers to store fronts the next 18 months. The judge had rejected the state's claim it has the authority to license some pot retailers to serve as their own middleman if there aren't enough alcohol distributors to do the job. The new regulation makes it clear that's legal, at least for now. A lawyer for the alcohol wholesaler groups that won the court injunction told the tax panel during Thursday's three-hour hearing that he's convinced the new regulation is just as illegal as the earlier one the judge threw out. The Tax Department last week declared the need for the emergency rules after marijuana retailers recorded more than 40,000 transactions in the first weekend. Its executive director warned that the distribution bottleneck could cost both the state and investors millions of dollars and thousands of jobs, and could push consumers to the black market.

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