Pot relief for the emotionally and financially stressed state of Nevada has finally arrived. The first distribution license was granted on Wednesday after a week of worrying the state was going to run out of legal marijuana. The state’s stress reached national headlines as multitudes of people continued to line up out on the streets outside of stores for the opportunity to buy legal recreational marijuana, far exceeding any expectations.
The state, which officially began selling legal marijuana on July 1, only issued its first license to actually transport the product from the farm to the store on Wednesday.
The move will give some dispensary managers relief while officials sort out a larger distribution issue.
Five states allow legal recreational marijuana sales, but Nevada limits which companies can participate in its supply chain. The rules led to worries among dispensary managers that they wouldn’t be able to restock following better than expected demand during the first two weeks of legal sales.
But the first license has been awarded to Blackbird Logistics Corporation, which began shipping almost immediately.
“The dam has been broken and stuff is starting to trickle in,” said Al Fasano, COO of the Las Vegas dispensary ReLeaf, who had been worried that his shelves may run dry without a shipment of new product.
Blackbird has operated primarily as a logistics and delivery company for medical marijuana, which has been legally sold in Nevada since 2014.
Medical marijuana does not carry restrictions on its supply chain under state law and anyone can transport it. Recreational marijuana, however, can be shipped only by liquor distributors.
Blackbird CEO and co-founder Tim Conder said he obtained a liquor license to begin transporting legal weed.
The Nevada Tax Commission could vote Thursday on “emergency regulations” to open deliveries up to non-liquor companies to meet the boom in demand from customers. The commission is meeting to determine the appropriate number of distributors to supply the state’s 47 legal dispensaries.
Demand for legal marijuana has been huge in Las Vegas where tourists are lining up in triple-digit heat to get some. Dispensary managers who talked to CNNMoney said the demand was almost double what they anticipated and that they worried their stores might run out of inventory. None of the dispensaries seem to have completely run out of stock, so these state licenses might be coming in the nick of time, they said.
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