Like almost every other industry in the state, Nevada’s cannabis industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic when it first started.
However, Layke Martin, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association told KNPR’s State of Nevada that after rules were changed to allow home delivery and curbside pick-up services, the industry bounced back in mid-2020.
“In the summer, the industry proved resilient,” she said. “We maintained jobs for more than 8,000 Nevadans, and we ended the fiscal year 2020 bringing the state $105 million in excise tax revenue that goes to education.”
Overall in 2020, Martin said, taxable sales of marijuana were up $45 million from the year before.
She added that the cannabis industry will be lobbying lawmakers during this legislative session to make curbside pick-up services permanent.
While the legal market for marijuana is doing well, the black market is still its biggest competition. The problem is the price. Legal growers and dispensaries pay taxes, which makes their products more expensive.
“So what we have to try to do and what we do is try to provide a better product and better service at a competitive price,” she said. “And to keep the price competitive, we need to make sure that the tax is fair.”
Support comes from
Tyler Klimas is the executive director of the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board. He said there needs to be a balance between bringing in money for the state and not making prices too high so that people will turn to the black market.
“It is something that we constantly revisit as well,” he said. “The Department of Taxation sets fair market value every six months on product lines. So, we have mechanisms in place to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate where we’re at.”
Josh Garber is a detective with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.