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Reno City Council approves recreational marijuana sales starting in July

Photo: Pixabay / MGN

The Reno City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to allow recreational marijuana sales to begin July 1.

At their meeting on April 26, the city council considered a six-month ban on recreational marijuana sales in Reno. They tabled that discussion to wait for the Department of Taxation to release its preliminary regulations for the Nevada's Early Start program.

The Early Start program will allow current medical marijuana businesses to be the first to sell the cannabis recreationally.

On Wednesday, city staff proposed an amendment to Reno's current medical marijuana ordinance that would add recreational marijuana to the language.

After a lengthy discussion, council members voted to move forward with a July 1 launch date of recreational sales in Reno.

"Right now we're actively hiring 8 new full-time employees to gear up for recreation." Mikel Alvarez is the Director of Retail Sales for Blum. He said the six-month moratorium would have greatly impacted his business operations. "It takes us about a month and a half to two months to get fully processed in the state and then to onboard them and also train them, so it's about a two-month process. That was one of the biggest things-- if there was a delay, we would have to stop that process."

Many medical marijuana business owners in Reno were in the same boat as Alvarez. Dozens of dispensary employees testified before the city council. They said they've been gearing up for the July 1 launch date for months and delaying recreational sales would have caused them to lose money.

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