July 02, 2018, Nevada
It has been one year of the legalization of recreational cannabis in Nevada. The cannabis stores in the state have sold over $400 million worth of products in the first 12 months of legalization. The state has collected more than $50 million in the revenues generated by the legal cannabis operations in first nine months.
More importantly, cannabis industry has been operating within the disciplinary guideline furnished by the state. In the entire year, only one cannabis store has to face disciplinary actions. However, there is one problem bothering the local law enforcement i.e. the cannabis black market in Las Vegas has grown three times after the commencement of legal cannabis sales.
Pop-up Markets: The Reason Behind Thriving Black Market
According to the city police sergeant Randy Dockery, illegal cannabis vendors have shifted their operations from local cannabis festivals to pop-up markets. These pop-up markets are usually set up in warehouses on weekends. A single pop-up market has roughly 15 to 20 vendors selling everything from chips to marijuana. Shoppers are quick to do their buying from these markets and so vendors head home in a couple of hours after racking some good amount of money.
Dockery points towards an important factor that has skyrocketed the sales of illegal cannabis vendors. Around 42 million vendors visit Las Vegas every year. It has become really easy for illegal vendors to dupe them after the legalization of cannabis. Black market vendors pose as legal retailers and offer cheap stuff to the visitors. Many tourists buy from them without any hesitation because they believe everyone is operating under the ambit of legalization.
Buying less than one ounce of cannabis from illegal vendors is not a crime. However, people selling cannabis without acquiring a license are well aware of the fact that they are committing a crime.
Experts think that a fringe illegal market will always exist as it happens with every legal commodity. This should not worry the state until it becomes a threat to law and order situation or starts to cut back the taxes collection.
The performance of first 12 months of legal cannabis is quite satisfactory for all the concerned parties in Nevada. The business owners have minted good ROIs and the state has succeeded in increasing their income stream through wholesale and retail taxes. Moreover, legal cannabis stores haven’t fueled the crime rate in the state, an apprehension that makes many politicians to openly support the legalization.
Every Component of Legal Market is Acting in Discipline
State officials are also unperturbed because all stakeholders are acting in compliance. In first three quarters of legalization, only one cannabis retail store out of 61 has been reported for discrepancies. Similarly, only two out of 115 legal cannabis cultivators have faced disciplinary actions.
Adult-use and medical-use cannabis industry have also helped in addressing the issue of unemployment by creating over 8,000 jobs. In addition, over 300 million dollars have been invested by pot companies in the state’s real estate, as per Nevada Dispensary Association.