(RGJ) Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, pushed for an Early Start program for recreational marijuana sales during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday. They presented the bill, Senate Bill 302, as a way to help Gov. Brian Sandoval meet his goal of making $100 million off of the fledgling program and also as a way to smother the existing black market.
The Early Start program would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling recreational product immediately if it passes, although the Department of Taxation already plans to get recreational product on dispensary shelves by July 1. It is unclear if the bill truly could catalyze a program that already is on a fast track.
By law, recreational marijuana will be available to Nevadans no later than Jan. 1, 2018.
Under Segerblom and Yeager’s bill, the tax on marijuana sales would be significantly higher than those that currently are in place for marijuana. The bill would eliminate the 2 percent wholesale tax and raise it to a 5 percent state tax for medical marijuana, charged upon sale, and a 15 percent state tax for recreational marijuana, also charged upon sale.