US (NV): State's cannabis industry keeps adjusting to changing landscape

This year, Nevada’s cannabis industry celebrates five years of legal recreational sales. In that time, the number of dispensaries has grown from 55 to 92 statewide. Those establishments brought in more than $1 billion in taxable sales last fiscal year, for a total of $157.7 million in excise tax in 2021. Compared to 2017-2018, the recreational industry’s fledgling fiscal year, that’s an increase of 67% in the number of dispensaries and an increase of 89.4% in taxable sales—not to mention the dispensary license fees that the state rakes in, which totaled more than $5.2 million in 2020.

Hashing out the numbers, the cannabis industry seems to be delivering on promises made when Nevadans still were grappling with how they’d vote on the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized recreational sales. Advocates often referenced how a recreational industry could bolster revenues, which could then be used for schools and other areas of the state that lack funding. Per Nevada law, that $157.7 million in excise taxes from last year will go into the state’s distributive schools account to fund education.

The Source, which started with one medical and recreational dispensary in 2017 and has expanded to four retail locations including Reno, has launched a second cultivation facility and increased its production size nearly fivefold over the past three years. “We were cultivating a little less than 1,000 pounds per year about three years ago. And now, our goal [and we’re very close to it] is to cultivate 5,000 pounds per year out of both facilities,” says Aaron Nino, chief operating officer of cultivation facilities for the Source.


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