Nevada is one year and a couple months into legalized marijuana use in the state. So far, all signs point to positive results, but that does not mean all issues have fallen to the wayside.
In August, figures from the year’s marijuana sales were released, and the benefits were significant – to the tune of $69.8 million. Of that financial windfall, the funds collected from the 15% wholesale tax are used toward law enforcement regarding marijuana. The other funds are on hold in the rainy-day fund to be used towards education.
Based on the state’s dependence on tourism, current talks include the possibility of expanding public use laws to allow visitors to take greater advantage of the market and lead to increased revenue. Another possibility is expanding the locations where marijuana can be used and encouraging more lounges and facilities to open where marijuana use is encouraged.
Trouble still brews for marijuana users, despite the resolution of the legality of use. For one thing, the price at a dispensary, compared to prices through a dealer, tend to be almost double. However, the marijuana at a dispensary is likely to meet state standards. This makes it worth the price for most buyers, although that could change.
Another ongoing struggle for Nevada is illegal marijuana sales online, most through sites that masquerade as legitimate vendors. This does cut into the revenue for marijuana collected by the state. Another issue is packaging on marijuana-infused products that might make them appealing to children. This is a situation Las Vegas Police, in particular, are monitoring closely.
Yet another issue is determining impairment, since there is not a viable test currently available that’s comparable to a breathalyzer, nor is there a standard for blood tests. Another problem is bank hesitation to interact with marijuana sales, leaving dispensaries and other vendors vulnerable to burglary because they deal primarily in cash.
The numbers do speak for themselves when it comes to feedback on the first year of legalized use for the state. Considering this model, it’s logical to assume more states will join the growing contingent that have legalized marijuana use. Canada’s impending countrywide legalization will also be worth watching, since proponents of marijuana legalization in the United States have their eye on lobbying for federal regulation changes in the future.