Recreational marijuana sales kicked off just two weeks ago in Nevada, but dispensaries are already running low. It’s not because customers are burning through it, though—apparently, there’s a shit-ton of weed that’s just waiting to be distributed (legally, at that). But when the sale of recreational marijuana was first approved, the state reached an agreement with alcohol distributors, giving those companies first dibs on shuttling all that precious herb to dispensaries. The concession was made to keep alcohol distributors from losing business after the November ballot passed, presumably because no one’s going to bother running out to buy some wine when they can have purple kush delivered to their door without interrupting their binge watch.
But, as Rolling Stone reports, these transportation companies aren’t holding up their end of the bargain, leaving many dispensaries with low supplies less than a month after opening. The state is just sitting on a whole lot of pot right now, while still going through distribution applications. However, alcohol distributors have legal dispensation to bogart delivery; they “have exclusive rights to transport weed for the first 18 months of legal sales,” so if they’re not doing it, virtually no else is.
In the most egregious cases, the dispensaries have their own grow operations on site, but because of the deal with alcohol distributors, they’re basically prohibited from moving the marijuana from “one side of a room to the other.” No dispensary has actually run out of weed yet, but Nevada governor Brian Sandoval has declared a state of emergency, partly due to the lackadaisical attitude of the alcohol distributors. But there’s a lot more at stake here—people at the dispensaries could lose their job without any goods to sell, and the state budget could also be adversely affected. Weed and its products are taxed at 33 percent, with 15 percent going to schools, 10 percent in an emergency or discretionary fund, and 8 percent sales tax that the state and local governments split. But state senator Tick Segerblom has assured Nevada’s toking citizenry that all levels of government are working together to “to make sure no one runs out of weed.”