Thursday, May 16, 2019 | 2 a.m.
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It’s just been over two years since Nevada legalized recreational marijuana. This market is new to us and, to be sure, there are some kinks to be worked out. But that doesn’t mean we should halt all business in pursuit of perfection.
Unfortunately, that’s what a group of unsuccessful applicants for cannabis licenses is trying to do in filing a lawsuit over the state’s licensing process. Intent on uprooting the foundational work that has already been done in establishing a regulatory system, these litigants expect a judge to stall business operations and the taxpayers to foot the bill to start the licensing process over again.
That’s the wrong approach. Instead, we should work on it together.
Nevada is a national leader on oversight systems. We learned how to responsibly manage gaming, and our oversight of that industry is now the model across the country. Similarly, we are a model for marijuana regulations. Nevada has possibly the best marijuana oversight system in the country.
Meeting the highest standards for retailer business plans, safety protocols and community benefits is no small undertaking. Only a limited number of licenses are available for marijuana businesses. The numbers are staggering. In the last round of issuances, 462 applications from 127 applicants were filed competing for only 61 available licenses.
The competition is intense.
Unlike states like Oregon or Colorado, Nevada will not have a flood of pot retailers who lower standards in a race to the bottom. Tight numbers of licenses and rigorous reviews mean the industry as a whole will remain stable, delivering predictable tax results for Nevada.
When Nevadans voted to legalize marijuana, they did so with the expectation that the industry would be