Back in 2000 when Nevada legalized medical marijuana, the licensed dispensaries all purchased their product from marijuana cultivators and would then turn around and sell it to patients. Since then, Nevada dispensaries began to make real money, especially after Nevada recreational dispensaries opened in July of last year, and the dispensaries began to expand their operations.
The logical expansion for dispensaries was to cultivate their own legal marijuana, which was not a problem for them since they now had money and Nevada has no limit on the amount of marijuana cultivation licenses it permits. There are a limited amount of dispensary licenses they will issue though, so while dispensaries could expand operations as much as they cared to, Nevada marijuana cultivators could not. Now the cultivators are being pushed out of the Nevada marijuana market.
Cultivators before the Nevada Tax Commission on Tuesday lamented the number of dispensaries that have begun growing their own marijuana, saying that they had for years kept the medical marijuana market supplied with Nevada-grown weed.
But the new regulations could shut cultivators out of the industry, they argued. Cultivators traditionally grow marijuana to be sold to dispensaries, which in turn sell the product to the public.
“We produce one of the best products on the market. We supplied a lot of the dispensaries product before they could cultivate. A lot of them no longer need us since they’re growing their own (product), and they’re getting bigger and bigger and shutting us out,” said Craig Romvough, co-owner of Mother Herb, based out of the Las Vegas area. “We need a free market.”The commission on Tuesday was reviewing a 256-page set of permanent regulations likely to replace the industry’s current, temporary regulations set to expire in March. The commission unanimously approved the regulations, which address testing, labeling, packaging, delivery, security, taxation and a number of other issues. The regulations now are headed to the Legislative Commission for approval in February.