The Nevada Dispensary Association estimated that dispensaries made about $3 million in sales-with the state netting about $1 million in tax revenue-in the first four days of legalization. They aim to ensure the retailers that started selling recreational pot July 1 don't run out of their diminishing stock amid overwhelming demand. The regulation would allow the department to issue distribution licenses to a larger pool of applicants, including those outside the alcohol business.
Durrett says about a quarter of Nevada's 47 recreational dispensaries are running low on products, though no one has run out.
Pot is plentiful in Nevada, but so far no one has been licensed to move product between production facilities and shops.
Medical marijuana does not carry restrictions on its supply chain under state law and anyone can transport it. The company handles medical marijuana logistics by trade, but given the alcohol industry's monopoly, it partnered with a small wine company to get certified under the current legal set-up. This was because the language of the ballot question said that they would be the first ones allowed into the marijuana distribution market.
Blackbird has been a partner to the cannabis industry in Nevada for the past two years.
The tax authority claims most liquor wholesalers who have applied to distribute the drug have yet to meet the requirements necessary to be licensed. Several Nevada-based news outlets reported accurately on the possible "emergency regulation", with The Nevada Independent explaining that the regulation would "pave the way for opening up the distribution role to more than just liquor distributors".
In Nevada, alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to transport marijuana from growers to storefronts, due to a temporary court order that was extended in June by a Carson City district judge. The Taxation Department appealed that decision.
"The next step for the Department of Taxation is to enact permanent regulations on the same topic", Mari N. St. Martin, communications director for Sandoval, wrote to NBC News in an email. If there aren't, others would be allowed to apply and alcohol distributors wouldn't have a corner on the market anymore. With the matter of the distributor licensing proposal still standing, many employees could lose their jobs and the industry could be damaged.
About a week before sales began, Sandoval's chief of staff Michael Willden said state officials had been informed the dispensaries may have up to a 60-day supply of pot products.