State of Emergency: Nevada Is Running Out Of Weed

A holdup in transportation licensing has led to a shortage in product.

Weed is officially legal in Nevada. But just one week into recreational sales, Silver State dispensaries are already experiencing a product shortage, as transportation licenses have yet to be issued to would-be legal marijuana movers.

Sales officially began on July 1 for the state’s recreational program, which voters approved in November of last year. And according to the Nevada Department of Taxation, the Silver State’s nearly 50 dispensaries conducted more than 40,000 transactions right out of the gate, with weed products flying off of retailers’ shelves the entire Fourth of July weekend.

Indeed, Riana Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, estimated total sales of around $3 million just in the first four days of legal sales alone, VICE reports.

Still, Nevada’s newest industry, which is slated as bringing in more than $30 million in tax revenue over the first 6 months of legal sales, had some issues getting off the ground.

Per the state’s recreational legislation, transportation licenses are to be issued exclusively to liquor transporters for the first 18 months of sales. But even though transactions have already begun going down, and seven transporters have so far applied for the proper licensing, zero licenses have yet been issued. This bureaucratic misstep has already led to a shortage in available product for retailers. And Nevada is the only legal state to have such a stipulation.

Hoping to stymie the weed insufficiency, Governor Brian Sandoval issued a State of Emergency.

“Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to the retail stores will result in many of these employees losing their jobs,” Governor Sandoval said in a statement. “And [the holdup] will cause this nascent industry to grind to a halt.”

Some dispensaries have signaled to the state that they could run out of weed by mid-week.