Nevada Celebrates One Year Of Legalized Recreational Sales

Nevada continues to crush it with cannabis sales. On July 1, the state will celebrate its “cannaversary” or one year since it began selling recreational marijuana. So far, each month sales have outpaced original projections.

According to state records, recreational sales hit $41 million in March, the highest month to date, a 16% sequential increase over February and breaking the previous record set in December of $35.8 million. Total taxable sales for medical marijuana, adult-use marijuana and other marijuana-related goods for the first ten months of the fiscal year are $433.51 million.  April sales were lower than March, but strong enough to deliver all the anticipated tax revenue two months ahead of scheduled said the state.

Taxes collected in the first fiscal year-to-date (July 2017-April 2018)  were $55.53 million with wholesale marijuana generating $21.47 million for that time period and retail marijuana tax generating $34.06 million. The state said that taxes collected are 110% above what was projected. Also, the launch of the adult-use industry now accounts for a bit more than 17% of the overall growth in Nevada’s taxable sales base so far this fiscal year.

“The Nevada market continues to be the bright spot in the cannabis industry,” said Chris Driessen of privately owned vape powerhouse Organa Brands. “I was most impressed with the state for adhering to the self-imposed timeline of July 1, 2017.”

Nevada Senator Tick Segerblom said, “This new industry has generated close to half a billion in sales and employed over 5,000 Nevadans. Best of all, none of the predicted adverse consequences have occurred.”

Still, Nevada’s program hasn’t been without its challenges. In the beginning, distribution issues caused businesses numerous headaches along with limited supplies. Driessen agreed saying that the biggest challenge has been the lack of raw material which as driven up production costs.

“This has been problematic for the state as Colorado, California, and Oregon all have far lower price points for similar products making Nevada less competitive,” he said. Dreissen went on to add, “The onerous packaging requirements have also been a big challenge and came as a surprise to us. While the requirements are simple enough on their own, the states arbitrary enforcement of what it deems to be “slang” or “jargon” has caused unnecessary costs and ultimately a burden on businesses due to random enforcement.”

Even with these issues, sales of almost a million dollars a day is drawing many companies to the state.

“All reports from Nevada are that the state has seen healthy sales since the start of commercial adult-use,” said Daniel Yi of California-based dispensary chain MedMen. “MedMen began operations at its Mustang cultivation and manufacturing facility in April, and we plan to have three stores in Las Vegas before year’s end. Nevada is key to MedMen’s strategy of gaining and maintaining a leadership position in all significant U.S. markets. Las Vegas also gives our brand global exposure.”


The state is gearing up for big celebrations like Reef Dispensary which is giving away hats, and prerolls and sponsoring a midnight firework show. In addition to the fireworks, the first 250 customers to make a purchase after 12AM on July 1st will be awarded the limited edition ‘Year 1’ hat, commemorating the first safe and successful year of recreational cannabis in Nevada.

Cannabition, the cannabis museum slated to open in August in downtown Las Vegas is celebrating with a scavenger hunt beginning at 4:20 pm on July 1. Cannabition will be the world’s only cannabis-themed experience of its kind. Opening Aug. 2 at Neonopolis in Downtown Las Vegas, Cannabition will feature elaborate cannabis-inspired installations created by leading experiential art and exhibit designers. The museum said that visitors will interact with unique monumental art pieces, including a slide that empties into a pool of handmade foam “nugs,” enormous 7-foot buds and, at 23 feet, the world’s largest water pipe affectionately known as “Bongzilla.”

Also on Sunday, July 1, The+Source will launch its new Prismatic products, made with highly-effective, flavorful and pure extract products. Using a modern CO2-based extraction process, the versatile products will retain the full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids without the harmful hydrocarbon solvents. The+Source is running a 10-day lineup of promotions called the Ten Days of Freedom.

The Las Vegas location will also host popular local cannabis vendors on Sunday, July 1, including Matrix Nevada, offering specials and giveaways from an airstream, and the Alternative Medicine Association. On Monday, July 9, the AMA will host a pop-up at the Las Vegas location and starting at 5 p.m. will host a meet and greet with rapper and former VP of Death Row Records, Kurupt.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

One comment

  • Darius

    July 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Its been a great year


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