Legal marijuana makes New Year’s debut in Carson City | nnbusinessview.com

Legal marijuana makes New Year’s debut in Carson City

Taylor Pettaway
tpettaway@nevadaappeal.com

A pop-up tent on Jan. 1 advertises that RISE Carson City can now serve adult cannabis customers.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — For some Carson City residents, the new year started on a high note.

On Jan. 1, Carson City legalized recreational marijuana, meaning residents over 21 years old no longer need a medical marijuana card to buy cannabis.

"This transfer is the No. 1 way to combat black market sales, because you can tax, standardize and control that," said Will Adler, executive director of the Sierra Cannabis coalition. "… and for me, this is a personal victory because I have been advocating for this for a long time coming."

The adult-use market has been in effect in Nevada since July 2017 — anyone over the age of 21 can possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

In Carson, there are two facilities that previously could only provide medicinal marijuana, and residents have had to travel to other parts of Northern Nevada to buy recreational products.

"The biggest thing is that we can now provide recreational products in the city so it is a little closer to home for people," said Tyler Brennan, manager of RISE. "People had to drive to Reno or Incline Village, which is a drive."

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Most other areas in Northern Nevada have legalized recreational pot and have been operating that way since July.

In addition to the convenience, Carson City also receives a 3 percent sales tax from its business license fee on gross sales. So far, Nevada has earned $20 million in marijuana tax revenue since the start of July.

For Carson, the city imposed the maximum percent allowed by the Legislature.

"So Carson City took the stance that if we are going to have recreational marijuana … it is important to represent to the people of Carson City to charge as much as we could," Adler said.

He said the Board of Supervisors wanted to take its time looking at enacting the legislation to make sure it was the best decision.

"The mindset of the board was by imposing this we are going at our own pace and know the pros and cons before," Adler said.

Brennan said that, on day one of recreational sales at RISE's location at 135 E. Clearview Drive, staff there saw decent amount of traffic.

"We had less than anticipated but that could be because of the holiday, but we have no incidents and we are happy with the flow," Brennan said. "The feedback has been great; we are very education-based so people know what to do with the products and get the right one."

Even though recreational marijuana is now legal, there still are regulations to it. It is still illegal to consume in public, illegal to drive under the influence, illegal to buy anywhere but a state-licensed store, and illegal for anyone under 21 to possess or buy.