Emergency Regulations Approved
For all of the fanfare and celebration of the July 1 Roll Out there has remained one concern, how do dispensaries restock their shelves if there is no licensed distributor available to transport product now that the law requires it? Judge Wilson’s order kept the Department of Taxation from issuing distributor licenses to any applicant unless they were a liquor distributor. It also stated that the Department of Taxation could not make any determination about whether a sufficient number of alcohol distributors have applied to meet market demand without guidelines in place to make an informed determination. The hearing to consider adoption of emergency regulations sought to do just that, to establish guidelines for what is required to be a qualified distribution applicant and to determine the distribution needs of the Nevada cannabis market.
The hearing’s public comment stretched on for hours and ranged from enthusiastic support for the Emergency Administrative Regulation to passionate opposition.
Examples of those providing public comment included liquor distributors and their legal counsels, concerned patients and advocates, and dispensary owners who expressed that the lack of distributors has created safety risks for their employees and businesses due to increased risk of theft brought on by having to store larger amounts of product on site.
There were liquor distributors that expressed concerns that the proposed regulation is too onerous and may be intentionally written to prevent liquor distributors from being able to participate in the cannabis market. This concern was addressed through public comment by a marijuana business owner who stated that the attention the distribution issue has garnered shines light on the process all privileged marijuana business license holders have had to follow and that recreational marijuana will be just as tightly regulated as medical marijuana has been.
Once public comment closed the commission allowed the Director of the Department of Taxation to address concerns that were raised about her department through public comment and then unanimously approved the Emergency Administrative Regulation.
As of today multiple news outlets have reported that the liquor distributors intend to bring the Department of Taxation back into court. That being said there are two distributors that have been licensed so dispensaries can slowly being to restock their shelves until more licensed distributors enter the market.
We will continue to monitor the developments involving marijuana distribution in Nevada as they unfold.