Senator Tick Segerblom, a Las Vegas Democrat, wants recreational marijuana sales to begin by June. The reason he is seeking the early start is just in case something happens to extend the state’s current timeline. The original target date was July 1st, six months ahead of a voter-mandated deadline. Department of Taxation Director Deonne Contine said the state will be ready by then to license medical marijuana dispensaries to ring up the state’s first sales of pot bought for fun.
Much of what the Department of Taxation is aiming for is stated in Senate Bill 302, which include implementing sales taxes and some new rules and the general provisions of the legalization initiative voters passed in November. Segerblom stated, “We’re not trying to compete with Taxation’s early-start program. If their early-start program gets out there, we don’t need this bill, but if there’s hiccups in that or something, this would be an alternative.”
Hearings will be held regarding the tax department’s proposed marijuana rules. Continue stated, “I would like to emphasize that I feel like that process is prudent and it is with a lot of thought and so I’m confident that the state will be ready to go on July 1.” With voter approval, Nevada legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older last year. However, there’s nowhere to legally buy marijuana for personal use until the state allows dispensaries to sell it.
Segerblom’s proposal would give the dispensaries permission to sell. The bill will put the 10 percent state sales tax on recreational marijuana into play that Governor Brian Sandoval floated in January, as well as another 5 percent sales tax to benefit local governments. Segerblom said his measure would streamline collection. Segerblom said to Continue, “We both agree we want to have one inventory, one accounting system.”
The proposal would have the recreational marijuana industry operate under the medical marijuana rules that took 15 years to carry out in Nevada. It would be replaced by the tax department’s regulations once that agency begins licensing recreational marijuana shops. Segerblom said he had intended the proposal to get Nevada’s recreational marijuana industry off the ground even earlier, but there was a setback in the legislative process. The proposal would take effect immediately after his colleagues in the Democrat-controlled state house and the Republican governor sign on, a constitutional process that must be finished by June.