At 12:01 on July 1, 2017, Nevada cannabis dispensaries made history by selling regulated marijuana to consumers over the age of 21 for the first time in state history. Nevada joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska as the first five states to officially legalize, regulate and tax the sale of non-medical cannabis to adults. To no one’s surprise, legal cannabis sales are a big hit in Nevada as the Nevada Dispensary Association reported that they expect $3 to $5 million dollars in marijuana sales were made during the first weekend alone.
With more than 42 million tourists every year, Nevada dispensaries will certainly be busy selling to tourists. The state has projected $60 million in new revenue over the next two years from the taxes levied on cannabis, but I would be very surprised if revenue numbers don’t exceed expectations. The first year of sales in Oregon garnered over $60 million in new revenue and Nevada ranks third in the number of tourists per year while the great state of Oregon ranks 28th. In 2016, Nevada set a record for its highest number of tourists all-time, with folks spending on average $827 in the state. It should not shock anyone if even more folks visit the Silver State in 2017 and 2018, with a significant portion choosing to spend a little extra cash to purchase legal cannabis.
Colorado has been the gold standard in legal cannabis commerce, selling more than a billion dollars worth of cannabis in 2016, generating more than $200 million in new revenue. We shall see how Nevada stacks up, especially during the rest of 2017, before the economic giant that is the state of California implements legal sales to adults as well.
In addition to the new revenue generated from regulated cannabis commerce, the economic impact of legalization is felt beyond just the tax dollars as thousands of jobs get created and the new cannabis-industry employees and ancillary businesses spend their hard-earned money, further boosting the local economy. While cannabis law reformers are pleased to hear about the economic benefits of cannabis legalization, the most important aspect of ending prohibition is the newfound freedom adults will enjoy. This newfound freedom will lead to a vast reduction in the number of marijuana arrests, freeing up law enforcement to focus on real crimes. Congratulations, Nevada! Welcome to Club More Freedom, Jobs and Revenue!
Here is the press release sent out by the Nevada Dispensary Association announcing the successful sales numbers following the Silver State’s first weekend of legal cannabis commerce:
NEVADA DISPENSARY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES OVERWHELMING RETAIL SALES IN LOCAL DISPENSARIES
Tweet It: The @nvdispense announces an extremely successful first weekend of recreational #marijuana sales statewide #Vegas #LegalizeIt
LAS VEGAS – The Nevada Dispensary Association (NDA) announced that the first weekend of recreational marijuana sales was a huge success. Locals and tourists alike lined up to legally purchase products beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 1.
The NDA and local industry worked diligently to prepare for high consumer demand, with compliance of strict rules and regulations. Licensed dispensaries across Clark, Washoe and Nye counties held celebratory events throughout the weekend to recognize the end of marijuana prohibition statewide. Senator Tick Segerblom has been instrumental in the legislation leading up to the success of this program. “Once again, our state shows the world that if you want to have fun, come to Nevada. And help us pay for our schools,” said Segerblom.
“Based on our sales and my conversations with other businesses, I believe there were at least three to five million dollars in sales over the weekend,” said Nevada Dispensary Association executive director, Riana Durrett. “This aligns with our projected 30 million dollars in sales over the next six months.”
President of the NDA and CEO of The+Source dispensaries, Andrew Jolley, provided his insights as well, noting that “we expect the high demand to continue across the next several weeks, and we couldn’t be happier that we helped to create the legal tax-paying market in this state.”
Please visit http://www.nvdispense.com/licensed/ for a list of establishments licensed to sell recreational marijuana products and http://www.nvdispense.com/recreational for general information and FAQ of recreational marijuana.
ABOUT THE NEVADA DISPENSARY ASSOCIATION
The Nevada Dispensary Association (NDA) is dedicated to developing and promoting the best practices among Nevada marijuana dispensaries as well as supporting the efforts of marijuana establishments to provide high quality, safe marijuana to Nevada’s consumers. The Nevada Dispensary Association represents 90 percent of dispensaries in Southern Nevada and more than 80 percent of dispensaries statewide. For more information, visit www.nvdispense.com.