Medical marijuana prices are rapidly increasing since recreational legalization sales began July 1 in Nevada, causing many patients to return to the black market.
Staff at medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are noting a decrease in regular customers, while patients say many of their peers are opting for cheaper prices from street dealers. The marijuana industry is off to a lucrative start in Nevada, raking in nearly $3 million over the first four days of legal sales, however, the enormous consumer interest is causing prices to steadily climb, reports KTNV.
Some dispensaries are creating incentives and discounts to try and offset rising costs, but patients say it may not be enough to compete with black market prices.
“It changed the whole quality of my life,” Emily Wilson, a medical marijuana patient in Las Vegas, told KTNV. “Now our prices have almost doubled in some places.”
High demand across the state of Nevada for marijuana is causing numerous problems in the first weeks of the state’s recreational market. Dispensaries are selling marijuana at such a fast rate since opening their doors that it is creating a weed shortage in the state.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed a “statement of emergency” from the Nevada Department of Taxation July 7 to adopt measures that will help bolster the marijuana supply for dispensaries by reforming rules on distributor licensing.
The Nevada Tax Commission voted Thursday to approve the measures, which will expand who is allowed to transport the plant from growing facilities to retailers.
The early sales figures put Nevada dispensaries on pace to make nearly $30 million by the end of the year.
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