Exactly one week before he was elected governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak was at the grand opening gala for Planet 13, a new kind of dispensary that bills itself as the first superstore for cannabis in Las Vegas. On this particular night, like throughout his entire campaign, Sisolak didn’t hide his support for the business of cannabis.
Check Out the World’s First Cannabis Superstore in Las Vegas
“I think this is a great industry,” the Democrat said. “It employs thousands of people. It creates tens of millions in revenue.”
Taxes are a more complicated matter. Sisolak was caught on camera saying, “One of the ways we’re going to have to pay for it, and people don’t want to hear it, is property taxes.” Despite not revealing what “it” was referring to, his opponent played the clip in campaign ads as a scare tactic.
“It’s totally out of context,” said Sisolak when questioned specifically about the ad. “Cutting, investing, prioritizing—that’s what I intend to do—but we’re not raising taxes.”
Working to the governor-elect’s advantage is a new windall in Nevada—one he can be proud of, given his approval of the blossoming cannabis economy. According to a report by the Nevada Dispensary Association, the state took in nearly $113 million in total tax revenue on cannabis sales during the first year of legal recreational use. That’s based on taxable sales of just under $530 million, covering both medical and recreational transactions.
“It’s a good start,” said Sisolak. But a question lingers — where does all that tax money go?
From Education to Rainy Day Funds: Following the Money in Cannabis
The new revenue was promised for education, helping the initiative for legal pot pass in the first place. However, an additional tax was