When Question 2 was approved by Nevada voters in 2016, it provided liquor distributors with an 18 month exclusive right to distribute marijuana from growers to retail stores. Recreational sales began on July 1, 2017 and within days the demand for cannabis had outstripped the supply being provided by distributors. On August 10, 2017, the Nevada Department of Taxation decided that the number of liquor distributors licensed to transport marijuana was inadequate and to open licensing to other businesses, including marijuana retailers and growers.
The battle over who has the right to distribute cannabis in Nevada is now headed to the State Supreme Court. On September 15, 2017, the Court issued a temporary injunction that overrides the Department of Taxation decision to issue licenses outside of the liquor distribution industry. Oral arguments in the case will be held on October 4rd at the UNLV Boyd School of Law.
Who will win this battle remains to be seen but both sides in the case have valid points that the court will need to carefully consider. Cannabis retailers need a product to sell and grow operations need a legal means of conveyance to deliver that product. Liquor distributors may have the law on their side and claim they have not received adequate due process in hearings about this matter.