Nevada is working to be the first state to offer licenses for the recreational sale of cannabis. In Nevada last November, 602,400 people voted in favor of Question 2, which detailed recreational cannabis use by adults. That represented roughly 54.4 percent of the total vote, with 503,615 votes cast against recreational legalization. Certain aspects of the bill have already gone into effect since they required no taxation or distribution system. Those provisions include the legal possession of an ounce of cannabis flower or a quarter of an ounce of hash. While those portions of the bill went into effect at the start of this year, the recreational sale aspect requires a bit more planning because of the systems that must be in place to tax and regulate distribution. The Nevada Department of Taxation introduced temporary regulations regarding recreational cannabis to The Nevada Tax Commission, which accepted the proposal. These new regulations will allow recreational cannabis sale licenses to be issued before July 1st. The speed of these transitions in Nevada is partially due to the existing infrastructure related to the medical cannabis system in the state. Interestingly enough, the given reason for the push forward is that the state will need the tax revenue that is projected to be produced as a result of the new recreational industry. The governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, has already allocated $70 million of that revenue from the recreational cannabis tax for state projects. Perhaps the most significant outcome of this decision is that Las Vegas will have legal recreational cannabis, making it the largest tourist city on Earth with such access. That alone is expected to increase the attraction of the city and the overall tax revenues brought in from tourists. It is believed that tourists who visit from all over the world will see Las Vegas as an example of how the cannabis industry should work everywhere. The ultimate goal is to remove the stigma associated with cannabis on a cultural scale, and the experiences tourists will have
in Vegas should work toward that end. In many cases, buying or consuming legal cannabis in Las Vegas will likely be much less shady than anything else one might do in the city. Las Vegas also sees tourists from a huge variety of backgrounds and cultures, and many of those tourists won’t visit any other part of the state. Not only that, but they probably won’t visit other parts of the United States where cannabis has been legalized, like Colorado or California. For those sorts of tourists, Las Vegas will literally be the first time they experience the legal cannabis market. According to existing players in the budding cannabis market in Vegas, the city has a great amount of potential when it comes to the idea of successfully building a regulated and safe market for recreational cannabis. A huge percentage of Americans will visit Las Vegas at least once in their lifetime, and that sort of exposure to new experiences is crucial in pushing forward with the cannabis movement. Some estimates have said that the recreational cannabis industry in Nevada could bring in as much as $450 million in the first five years alone, and that assumes that additional taxes aren’t imposed on the product at the last moment, which may very well happen. It’s also excellent for Las Vegas that they’ll have an increase in local taxes as well. The city has a famously subpar school system since so much of the city’s budget goes to tourism. The city is currently building a new football stadium for the Raiders, so a lot of money is tied up there, and the new tax revenue from the recreational cannabis market will help improve schools in the city. If any state in American is poised to lead the way when it comes to the cannabis industry, Nevada is that state. The state is already famous for allowing more personal freedoms by regulating things that the federal government deems illegal.