Nevada Court Lifts Block On Marijuana Wholesalers Because Stores Desperately Need More Pot

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Good news for the recently legalized recreational marijuana industry in Nevada: To help meet overwhelming local demand, a state court judge has opened up the pool of applications for pot distribution licenses.

Nevada marijuana retailers have been running low on their marquee product in recent months because wholesale alcohol distributors in the state are currently the only companies allowed by law to distribute the drug. The exclusivity window will end in about 16 months, but retailers need a solution now.

There will likely be a bunch of new applications now that Carson City District Judge Russell lifted an order blocking regulators from handing out those distribution licenses to non-alcohol wholesalers, reports the Associated Press.

In the day after recreational pot sales officially started in Nevada, state regulators issued emergency rules to allow dispensaries to act as their own distributors in order to start business July 1.

Russell ruled that there is overwhelming evidence that alcohol wholesalers aren’t keeping up with needs of the state’s 50 or so licensed recreational pot dispensaries, reports the AP.

And to the alcohol distributors who sued over this issue, Russell said they can always appeal, but “it’s not up to this court to supersede the authority of a state agency.”

Officials with the state’s tax department had argued that widening the pool of distribution applicants is not only in the interest of Nevada’s coffers, but also necessary to keep residents from going back to the black market.

“Without the ability to license marijuana distributors to continue the flow of product to the retail store, a high likelihood exists that consumers will revert to the black market,” regulators said in July.