Cannabis Knowledge & Insights

Nevada Cannabis Licensing Update

Big news out of Nevada: the state will be expanding their recreational cannabis licenses starting September 7, 2018, with a second licensing window opening in November. This month, Nevada is accepting license applications for recreational cannabis business establishments from existing medical cannabis business establishments that will co-locate at the same facility. The state plans to open up licensing to a wider range of applicants later this fall.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick update on the current state of cannabis in Nevada.

Background on Legal Cannabis in Nevada

Adult-use cannabis became legal in Nevada on January 1, 2017. Since the sale of recreational cannabis began, the state has been cautious to avoid the same mistakes as Oregon, which is dealing with a case of oversupply exceeding consumer demand.  

However, recreational cannabis sales in Nevada beat expectations during the first year, with a total of $424.9 million in sales in the first year ending June 30. As a result, Nevada regulators opened another round of licensing applications for existing medical cannabis businesses to apply for adult-use cannabis permits of the same license type (e.g., medical dispensaries would operate as adult-use dispensaries).

During this June window, 76 applications were submitted by medical cannabis operators. Nevada’s cannabis authorities are still in the process of reviewing these applications and intend to announce licenses in September.

In addition, Nevada has opened another licensing round for medical cannabis certificate holders in good standing from September 7 – 20, 2018. During this phase, the state is only approving cannabis retail licenses. The application form must be submitted by 5pm, September 20 to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

(It’s important to note that only 41 of the retail licenses that are available during this September round are in counties that have approved the use of recreational cannabis. If your license application for a retail permit in a county without adult-use cannabis is approved, you will not be able to operate until that county has approved recreational-use. Keep in mind that the conditional license is only valid for a year; so, consider carefully if you think your county is on the verge of approving recreational cannabis in the next 12 months.)

Nevada Cannabis License Applications: November Window

There are currently two windows planned in November during which the state MAY accept cannabis business applications. These application periods are contingent on the number of licenses Nevada issues in September; to avoid supply outpacing demand, the state will determine how much surplus medical and recreational cannabis is in the market before issuing any new licenses.

The current plan is for Nevada to accept recreational cannabis business applications from existing medical marijuana business licensees in a second window starting October 30, 2018. This application period would open on October 30 and closes on November 13, 2018 at 5PM.

If this window moves ahead as planned, the following types of organizations are invited to apply:

  • Existing Nevada medical cannabis establishments that hold a registration certificate(s).
  • Nevada medical cannabis establishments that hold a provisional registration certificate(s).

The application form is located on the Nevada Department of Taxation’s page. Note that the fee is $5,000 to apply along with the cost for the appropriate license fee:

  • $20,000 for Retail Store
  • $30,000 for Cultivation
  • $10,000 for Production
  • $15,000 for Testing Lab

Finally, depending on the results of the September and first November licensing processes, the state is planning to open cannabis licensing to a wider range of applicants on November 16. Any business, regardless of if they are currently medical cannabis operators or not, will be able to apply for an adult-use license. The number and types of licenses the state will issue following the November window will depend on market supply and demand. Again, this is because Nevada would like to avoid inventory surplus exceeding consumer demand.

To learn more about Nevada’s licensing process, consult with one of the experts at GreenGrowth CPAs today.