Nevada regulators and industry insiders say the state’s first year of cannabis legalization has exceeded even their highest expectations, with sales and tax collections already surpassing year-end projections by 25 percent.
While the numbers from June are still pending, they are expected to push taxable sales past $500 million, netting total tax revenue in the area of $70 million, $25 million of which is devoted to funding schools.
“I think it has been a huge success, and I don’t see how anyone could argue with that,” said Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association.
Nevada Taxation Department Director, William Anderson, told The Associated Press that their state is viewed as the gold standard. “It’s an often-used term, but it’s appropriate here.”
State Sen. Tick Segerblom, (D-Las Vegas), who helped lead the legalization effort, said: “The biggest surprise has been that there’ve been no surprises.”
But not everyone is over the moon about the situation.
Some medical cannabis patients say they were better off before Nevada legalized recreational pot is a common complaint.
The Guardian published a story recently about how legal cannabis made it more difficult for MMJ patients to access their medicine.
And for the millions of tourists who flock to Las Vegas annually, there is still no place to legally smoke weed, at least for now.
While neighboring California has a much larger population, the profitability of Nevada cannabis operations are much higher, say experts.
Where California's cannabis sector has run head-on into high taxes and excessive regulation, Nevada has simplified its market at the retail level.
Las Vegas is opening up a Cannabis Museum, the Cannabition, the world’s first and only immersive cannabis museum.
Designed for adults 21 and older, museum guests will be greeted by a “Canna-Guide,” then led through multi-sensory exhibits that can be seen, touched, and even smelled.