Nevada Wholesaler Steps Up to Restock Dispensaries

Published on July 13, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Nevada Wholesaler Steps Up to Restock Dispensaries

Nevada’s cannabis crisis may have been averted…at least for the time-being.

New Cannabis Ventures reports that a cannabis distribution company known as Blackbird Logistics will be helping restock empty shelves at newly opened Nevada dispensaries and retail cannabis shops for the first time since legalization went into effect on July 1.

Blackbird Logistics is an ancillary company based out of Reno and offers a number of services, including a point-of-sale system, home and dispensary delivery services, data collection, and, most crucially in this instance, facility transportation from producer to retailer.

When Question 2 was passed last November, the text specifically allowed for alcohol wholesalers to have the first crack at cannabis distribution licenses for the first 18 months of retail cannabis sales. This created a lawsuit that nearly delayed the opening of the first retail shops, as alcohol wholesalers fought medical marijuana distributors for the right to produce and distribute cannabis for Nevada’s legal market. However, the Nevada Department of Taxation released a statement that, as of July 5, none of the seven alcohol wholesalers that have applied met the application requirements to complete the licensing process.

With distribution licenses tied up in litigation, dispensaries and retailers were restricted to selling only what was already on the shelves on June 30th before opening day. With legal cannabis in high demand on the tourist circuit, retailers ran out of cannabis so quickly that Governor Brian Sandoval agreed to sign an emergency regulation to expand distribution licenses.

Blackbird Logistics has been a medical marijuana distributor since 2015, but recently partnered with an alcohol distributor to allow them to distribute cannabis on the retail market, making them officially the first licensed cannabis distributor on the legal Nevada market.

The Nevada Tax Commission is scheduled to meet July 13th to determine whether there will be enough alcohol wholesalers to distribute cannabis, and they may adopt the emergency regulations in an effort to support new retail business and avoid customer diversion to the black market.

There are currently 47 licensed cannabis retailers spread across Nevada, selling approximately $3 million worth of cannabis in just the first four days of legal sales. State officials are expecting sales to top $30 million by the end of 2017, making a licensed distributor all the more important in the coming weeks.

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Lisa Rough
Lisa Rough
Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.
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