Nevada’s director of the Department of Taxation told lawmakers on Wednesday night that the agency has drafted temporary regulations to allow for “Early Start” of recreational cannabis sales, according to a News 4 report. Early Start will allow current medical dispensaries the first chance to participate in the adult-use industry.
Application fees for the program range from $20,000 to $30,000 and will be used by the Department of Taxation to roll out the voter-approved regime.
“For the first 18 months that we issue those licenses, they can only be issued to medical marijuana establishments,” Deonne Contine, director of the Tax Department said in the report.
Officials indicated there would be plenty of licenses left for new operators but they would likely not be available for two years.
Will Adler, executive director of the Sierra Cannabis Coalition, said “it would be too hard to start a whole new license process” and that it was more efficient to build on the current network of cultivators, producers, dispensaries, and labs in the state.
“At the end of the day the new licenses are twice the number of current medical dispensaries,” he said.
Last month Nevada’s Senate passed four cannabis-related bills ranging from a ban on cannabis-infused “candy” and approvals for businesses and special events to obtain permits allowing on-site cannabis use. Adler said licensees would be affected by those rules if they are passed before Early Start.
“It’s not so much what Taxation is doing or what local governments are doing, but if something changes at the legislative level, that needs to be adopted,” he said.
The state Tax Commission will vote on the Early Start proposal May 8.