In November 2016, the state of Nevada voted “yes” to legalize marijuana, so adults 21 and older can now possess up to an ounce of cannabis in the state. As of January 1, 2017, Nevada residents could possess one ounce of marijuana, but within just a month, the state’s marijuana industry and economy saw significant changes, both positive and negative.
First, the state expects to pull in $30 million in sales in the next six months, so Nevada actually budgeted $100 million in expected marijuana tax revenue. In the first four days marijuana went on sale, Nevada made $3 million and roughly another $500,000 in tax revenue. With these numbers, Nevada should easily reach $30 million, except the state and dispensaries are experiencing marijuana shortages. In response, the Department of Taxation issued emergency orders to increase supply because the sales dropped 20% to 30% as a result. Even with more supply, the dispensaries will continue to struggle because their taxes are high with a 15% wholesale tax, 10% excise tax, and sales tax depending on the county. Fortunately, part of the marijuana tax revenue goes to Nevada’s education budget, so at least these high taxes are helping the state.