CANNABIS COUNTDOWN: Nevada gears up for recreational marijuana sales

CANNABIS COUNTDOWN | We are digging into the impacts the legal recreational marijuana market could have on Nevada (SBG)

Recreational marijuana sales become legal in Nevada at midnight Saturday, July 1, and several northern Nevada dispensaries are getting ready.

Sierra Wellness and Blum Dispensary will open at 12 a.m. for recreational sales. Operators say they've been preparing for months, hiring new people and ensuring they have plenty of product.

Only people 21 or older can make a purchase, and you can only have one ounce of marijuana and 1/8th of an ounce of concentrated marijuana in edibles.

There will be wholesale and excise taxes on marijuana. Money from the 10 percent excise tax will go to the state's rainy day fund, while revenue from the 15 percent wholesale tax will go to Nevada schools.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, a major proponent of legalized pot, said Nevada officials expect to make $30 million in the next six months from the excise tax alone.

Some rural counties and cities are not immediately taking part in the recreational sales. The city of Sparks has not approved any ordinances for legal sales yet. City council members plan to vote on the issue on July 10.

Carson City has not approved regulation for the sales, with one official saying the city will wait to see how sales work out in Reno and Las Vegas.

Some rural communities could see local growing, however. State law forbids growing marijuana within 25 miles of a dispensary, which seemingly allows residents in places like Storey County to grow their own plants so long as they are outside that radius.

Authorities in Reno are reminding residents as well that it's illegal to use marijuana in public. Use is only permitted in private residences.

There have been conflicting reports on whether it would be legal to use in a parked car, however.

Officer Tim Broadway of the Reno Police Department said he's been advised to treat marijuana use like the city's open container law, which would mean it's illegal to use in any place that has open access to the public.

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