Nevada has a history of pushing vices, with legalized gambling, prostitution, and drinking alcohol in public. It shouldn’t surprise folks that the Silver State, home of Las Vegas AKA Sin City, was selling a large amount of cannabis. However, sales have far exceeded expectations, providing lessons for other states, as Forbes reported:
Nevada cannabis sales have been booming. “Every month we are setting some kind of new record whether its number of visitors, product sales, or something else,” said Brandon Wiegand, Director of Operations at The+Source which operates two dispensaries in Nevada.
Nevada announced recently that its dispensaries sold nearly $425 million worth of recreational marijuana and contributed $70 million in tax revenue in its first full year of recreational sales. This exceeded the state’s revenue expectations of $265 million.
The roll-out has been smooth because “Nevada knows how to regulate vice,” Wiegand said. “The government is good at providing the security and rules the public desires while still allowing business to thrive.” The Nevada state government has already created systems for gambling, liquor and prostitution he said, so adding cannabis wasn’t a problem.
Nevada provides a lesson to states thinking about legalizing cannabis, and those that already have ended prohibition, like California, that could use a reassessment of their regulations. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel as the United States has an experience coming out of alcohol prohibition, a more addictive and deadly substance. If barriers to entry are reasonable and regulations aren’t overly burdensome, the industry can create jobs and generate revenue that benefits the entire state. Yes, illicit sales will remain an issue while some states cling to Reefer Madness-inspired prohibition laws, but like alcohol prohibition, they will be convinced to sweep cannabis prohibition into the dustbin of history in due time.
Learn the latest about the cannabis industry and network with top investors and entrepreneurs at the International Cannabis Business Conference this September 27th-28th in Portland, Oregon. Get your tickets today!