It’s been about a month since we reported on Nevada’s cannabis shortage, and not a lot has changed in terms of getting the products to the shelves there. There are still only 88 approved cultivation facilities, and distribution is still a mess. Recreational sales began on July 1, and at that time the alcohol industry was given the exclusive right to distribute cannabis – to literally transport it from the cultivation facilities to dispensaries – for 18 months. The problem was that not enough liquor distributors stepped up to apply for the license to distribute cannabis. So even if there were enough grows to fill the needs of the state’s 50 licensed retail stores, there simply aren’t enough licensed distributors to get the product to stores.
On August 10, Nevada’s Department of Taxation decided to open distribution to applicants outside of the liquor industry. Deonne Contine, the department’s executive director, said “The capacity of only liquor wholesalers to serve the market seems lacking. I think the evidence is fairly clear today that this market needs to be opened up.”
But before any licenses could be granted to non-liquor wholesalers, the liquor distributors appealed the Department of Taxation’s decision, basically putting everything on hold until the Tax Commission hears the appeal on August 29.
All of the behind-the-scenes finagling has had an unfortunate effect for consumers – in just one month, the price of cannabis has increased 200%. The price per pound for trim has gone from $150 to $450 in that time, and demand is only growing while supplies are dwindling. There seems to be no end in sight for the cannabis bottleneck in Nevada.
The Green Solution is grateful to have its home in Colorado, where we have our own cultivation facilities and our own distributors, and there’s plenty of cannabis to go around.