Nevada issued 61 additional provisional recreational marijuana retail licenses, which would nearly double the number of stores serving the fast-growing market, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
But not everyone was happy with the process, which was open only to businesses that already had medical marijuana permits.
Cannabis consultant Jason Sturtsman said that some businesses received multiple licenses, while other applicants were shut out.
“The main thing is that they just gave a bunch of licenses to a few select companies,” Sturtsman told Marijuana Business Daily.
“And if you look at the groups that won, the majority of those groups have a high amount of capital (behind them).”
State officials didn’t immediately respond for comment or provide the full list of winners.
But a number of companies announced they had won provisional permits, including:
Essence received eight licenses. Essence is currently owned by Integral Associates but is in the process of being acquired by Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries. Green Growth Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio, was granted seven licenses. TapRoot Holdings received seven licenses, according to TV station KSNV. GreenMart, a subsidiary of Toronto-based MPX Bioceutical, received four licenses.
Some of the provisional licenses were awarded to applicants in counties that don’t have stores yet, according to The Nevada Independent.
Recent state figures show 65 stores are currently licensed to sell marijuana in a total of just five counties.
Companies that received a provisional license have one year to get the necessary local and final state approvals to begin operating.
Nevada stores sold nearly $425 million of recreational marijuana in the state’s first full year ending June 30, according to state figures.
Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]