Extension of emergency pot regulation allows sales to continue in Nevada | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Extension of emergency pot regulation allows sales to continue in Nevada

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

FILE- In this July 1, 2017, file photo, people line up at the NuLeaf marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas. A judge cleared the way Thursday, July 17, for Nevada to allow more businesses to move marijuana from growers to stores in an effort to keep up with overwhelming demand since recreational pot sales began last month.

With permanent regulations still awaiting legislative approval, the Nevada Tax Commission voted Wednesday, Nov. 1, to extend the existing emergency regulations allowing recreational marijuana licensing and sales for another 120 days.

The existing emergency regulations were set to expire Wednesday.

In accordance with the Supreme Court order issued October 20, the extended regulations state that new applications to distribute pot can only be issued to licensed liquor wholesalers. That requirement is laid out in the voter-approved legislation making recreational marijuana use legal in Nevada, giving liquor distributors exclusive rights to distribution for the first 18 months of recreational sales.

But the regulations also adopt the high court's unanimous order existing distribution licenses to recreational licensees on or before September 14 will remain in effect for the full year from the date they were issued. As of September, there were 31 licenses issued to distributors.

Taxation Director Deonne Contine told the commission the Legislative Counsel Bureau has advised her they should be getting the permanent regulations within the next week or so, which would trigger the adoption process.

She also advised the commission she expects the wholesale fair market value of pot used to determine the taxes owed to increase when they recalculate it at the first of the year. At present, the value per pound is set at $2,145 or $134 an ounce.

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That rate is used to determine the 15 percent excise tax on wholesale sales by cultivators, the 10 percent retail tax on recreational adult sales and the sales tax in the county of sale.

Medical marijuana sales aren't subject to the 10 percent retail tax.

The schedule also sets rates for other forms of dried, fresh and live marijuana plants.

Marijuana taxes are projected to raise $120 million over the biennium in Nevada with a significant chunk of that going into the state's Rainy Day Fund. They raised a total of $3.68 million in tax revenue in July, the first month of legal recreational pot sales. That increased to $4.86 million in August.

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