When the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (the “Act”) was passed last November, the Act gave priority to wholesale liquor distributors with respect to applications for marijuana distribution licenses. That is, the Act provides that for a period of eighteen months after applications for recreational marijuana establishments are received, licenses for marijuana distribution would only be issued to holders of Nevada wholesale liquor licenses. However, the Act also provides some flexibility to grant marijuana distribution licenses to other parties if limiting the license to wholesale liquor distributors would result in an insufficient number of marijuana distributors.
Since the Act took effect on January 1, 2017, there has been little interest from wholesale liquor distributors and, thus, marijuana distribution licenses will be opened up to existing medical marijuana license holders who are in good standing. This gives medical marijuana establishments another preference under the Act; the Act also gives priority to existing medical license holders for recreational retail licenses for a period of twelve months after the application process begins. In addition, distributor applications will be accepted from applicants who are currently in the business of transporting marijuana, provided that the employees of such applicant hold valid medical marijuana establishment agent cards as required under Nevada law.
The deadline to apply for a marijuana distribution license for applicants that do not currently hold medical marijuana licenses is May 31, 2017. No deadline has been established for applicants that are current medical marijuana license holders.