Supplying the Demand: Is Las Vegas Running Out of Weed?

What does a shortage in Vegas mean for a new industry in a city that draws millions of tourists?

Nevada is a little more than 30 days into recreational cannabis sales, and it’s already been a banner month. The first four days of sales reportedly garnered more than $3 million in sales revenue, while people still fill the waiting rooms of area dispensaries to get a taste (or puff) of freedom. It hasn’t been all profits and bliss, though, because only two weeks after opening their doors to anyone over 21, many shops were already running low on product. What does this mean for a burgeoning industry in a city that draws millions of tourists from all over the world?

Although adults across the Valley are rushing to dispensaries in droves for infused chocolate bars and eights of Triple Bohdi, it’s not demand that is keeping the supply low, but the limited number of distributors who are able to transport products from the cultivators to the dispensaries. Evan Marder, the founder and chief operating officer of Matrix NV, foresaw the rush.

“I have plenty of inventory, but there’s just a major bottleneck with delivering. I strategized, I saw this coming and I knew how to handle it. I’ve been stockpiling for the last six months,” he says. “I want to continue supplying the dispensaries as they need it, but unfortunately this delivery debacle has put a wrench in the spokes of that one.”

The holdup stems from alcohol wholesalers being the only ones permitted to apply for marijuana distribution licenses for the first 18 months of sales, and not enough are actually doing so. This issue was addressed in mid-July by Governor Sandoval, with a “statement of emergency” that would allow the Department of Taxation to open the licenses to others beyond the wholesalers. Blackbird Logistics, a Reno-based medical marijuana distributor, swooped in to help dispensaries get the product they need for their customers, but whether they will be able to keep up with demand is still to be seen.

This article is available from a partnership between Vegas Seven and KINDLAND. Read the rest of the story here.