Some pot dispensaries gear up for July 1

LAS VEGAS - Recreational pot sales are scheduled to begin July 1. However, a court injunction is disrupting distribution operations.

There are some dispensaries preparing for the influx of pot users despite the on-going legal battle.

The state has not issued any distribution licenses for recreational marijuana but dispensaries are being allowed to sell the inventory they have by July 1 so many of them are stocking up.

Andre Rhodes is one of 38 medical marijuana dispensary owners approved to conduct retail sales in Las Vegas and Clark County. He anticipates a crowd of customers starting July 1 so he's making adjustments.

"We've already hired almost double, we've hired probably about seven more people already," said Andre Rhodes,  owner and manager, Nevada Wellness Center.

A court ruling Tuesday is preventing the state from issuing licenses to transport retail pot to anyone but liquor distributors.

In response, Rhodes immediately got on the phone, calling his cultivators telling them to give him everything they have in stock.

As he understands, licensed dispensaries will be allowed to sell the inventory they have by July 1 for recreational use.

"Right now everybody just wants to have as much inventory as they possibly can store," Rhodes said.

The law approved by voters in November gives exclusive transportation rights to liquor distributors during the first 18-months from when sales begin.

But after claiming to receive little business interest, the state tax department opened up the licensing application process to everyone else.

That's when the "independent alcohol distributors of Nevada" filed a lawsuit. Meanwhile, the governor's office has no plans to interfere.

"The governor does not intend to sign emergency regulations related to the distributors of marijuana," said Mike Willden, chief of staff for Gov. Sandoval.

Even facilities that cultivate their own product must have a distributor. So the problem now is no one is licensed to transport recreational pot.

"I think it will be resolved," Rhodes said. "I think for us to run out of product, it would only be short term."

The governor's office says there are several liquor distributors making their way through the application process. 8 News NOW reached out to the state tax department for comment but have not heard back.

 

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