Nevada adopts emergency rules to combat pot bottleneck

Nevada Marijuana

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada moved Thursday to reduce supply problems at recreational marijuana stores that have faced overwhelming demand for newly legal pot and the possibility of their shelves going empty.

Regulators approved emergency rules that would speed up licensing for pot distributors, a sticking point that launched a legal battle and threatened the flow of supplies after dozens of retailers started selling recreational marijuana on July 1.

Nevada’s law is unique among legal pot states, dictating that only alcohol wholesalers can transport the drug from growers to storefronts for the next 18 months. But the state rewrote the rules Thursday used to enforce the state’s pot law to make it clear that it’s legal under certain circumstances to license some retailers to transport pot from growers to storefronts.

Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed the proposal last week after a judge ruled in June state law dictates only alcohol wholesalers can transport pot from growers to store fronts the next 18 months.

The judge had rejected the state’s claim it has the authority to license some pot retailers to serve as their own middleman if there aren’t enough alcohol distributors to do the job.

Many retailers were previously licensed to sell and distribute medical pot, so they started stockpiling supplies months ago in an anticipation of high demand for recreational marijuana.