Nevada Marijuana: It’s Official (Almost), Change Is Coming

Nevada State Legislature

Updated October 10, 2016: Though it has been over a year since we posted this, we still get calls every week from people asking whether we can connect them to Nevada marijuana licenses. Unfortunately, we do not have a supply of licenses ready to be sold.

On May 29, 2015 the Nevada Legislature voted to approve SB276. We reported on this legislation last week in Nevada Marijuana Update: Dispensaries For Sale, And MoreAt that time only the Nevada Senate had heard the bill. Now we are just waiting on the governor’s signature for SB276 to become law.    

Here are the important points from the bill:

  1. Unused dispensary permits from rural counties will be reallocated as follows:
    1. Eight dispensaries in the Las Vegas area
    2. One in Reno
    3. One in Sparks, and
    4. One in unincorporated Washoe County
  1. Medical Marijuana Establishments will be able to sell or trade their cannabis licenses, but no single entity can have more than one license or more than 10% of all licenses in any county, whichever is greater.
  1. Medical Marijuana Establishments (dispensaries, cultivation and production facilities) can change locations if they secure approval to do so after a public hearing.

So what does this mean for Nevada’s budding medical marijuana industry? We anticipate seeing the value of medical marijuana dispensaries going through the roof, with multi-location entities opening due to acquisitions. We also foresee the proliferation of branded marijuana products due to the ability of dispensaries to have multiple locations.

Perhaps most notably, we believe that many companies granted licenses for cultivation and production facilities — but not dispensaries — will now utilize these licenses or at least seek to recoup some of their investment by selling them. Many of these licenses were sought in the Apex area of North Las Vegas. This area is not served by utilities and would have been extremely expensive to build upon. With an ability to move or sell the licenses to cultivation facilities in this less than ideal location, these companies may now look to other avenues to recoup their investments.

Given that SB276 sailed through both Nevada legislative houses with more than 80% support, and given our governor’s previous support for similar measures, we see SB276 as a done deal, and so do our cannabis clients.