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Nevada Officially Accepting Rec. Cannabis Applications; Open to Current Operators

Nevada’s Department of Taxation is officially accepting cultivation, manufacture, testing, and dispensary applications to operate under the state’s Early Start recreational cannabis regime, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The licenses will allow medical dispensaries currently operating to sell cannabis to adults 21-and-older while the state finalizes rules for the recreational program.

A 6-month license costs $5,000 to apply, and companies approved to operate as recreational will have to pay additional fees: $20,000 for retail stores, $30,000 for cultivators, $10,000 for production facilities, and $15,000 for testing labs and distributors. Distribution licenses are available to not only current medical cannabis dispensaries and distributors but also liquor wholesalers.

Clark County, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas are expected to issue retail licenses by July, 1. The Taxation Department plans on issuing permanent licenses January 1.

Officials decided to allow current operators to participate in an Early Start program after they determined that waiting a full year to implement the voter-approved measure would risk growing the illicit market. Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed Executive Budget includes $70 million from adult-use cannabis sales over the next two years. Tax Department Director Deonne Contine said that without the temporary program the state “will not have the revenue that’s included in the governor’s budget.”

The application deadline is May 31.

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