BY :Melia Robinson
Nevada sold out of legal marijuana so
quickly, the government used a ‘statement of emergency’ to bring in .
(A man shops for marijuana at The Source dispensary, on Saturday, July 1, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP)
On July 1, Nevada locals and tourists visiting from out of state waited hours in line in triple-digit temperatures to become the first in the state to purchase legal recreational marijuana.
Less than two weeks later, the 47 retailers licensed to sell the drug are running out of supply.
The Nevada Tax Commission, a subsidiary of the state Department of Taxation, has passed a new regulation to address the shortage in a unanimous vote.
applications and allow dispensaries previously operating in the medical marijuana program to vie for a spot in the recreational market.
The regulation come as a response to a “statement of emergency” issued by the department and endorsed by Governor Brian Sandoval late last week.
The governor did not declare a “state of emergency,” which is typically used in times of natural disaster when local government requires the help of state agencies. Rather, a statement of emergency allows for swift changes in regulations during temporary scenarios, said Mari St. Martin, communications director of the Office of Governor Brian Sandoval, in a statement.
Nearly 50 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. When sales got underway on July 1, those retailers could sell their inventory to anyone over the age of 21 with a valid ID. But those same stores cannot legally restock their supply.
Alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to move marijuana from growers to retailers in Nevada, as part of a temporary court order that was extended in June. The rule aims to “promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol” — and protect liquor stores from losing business as the demand for recreational marijuana rises.