October 26, 2018 | Event Photos by Joe Durkin
Following months of data collection commissioned by the Nevada Dispensary Association, RCG Economics presented the results of a thorough marijuana economic impact report to state representatives, press and industry leaders on Oct. 26th.
Nevada Dispensary Association Executive Director Riana Durrett began the presentation, introducing NDA president Andrew Jolley and noting that the report finds in favor of Nevada’s regulatory system.
“The report makes clear that Nevada citizens and consumers are the winners in Nevada as it relates to marijuana. With real seed to sale tracking being administered by the State and significant tax collection at the State and local level, the industry is operating safely while delivering millions of dollars to State and local government coffers despite significant operating costs for the licensees.”
Focusing on taxes and legal marijuana sales, NDA president Andrew Jolley spoke on the State of Marijuana in Nevada, alongside NDA Board Member John Ritter and Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom.
“Legal marijuana sales numbers are significant because many people would prefer to buy tested products from safe sources, but what people don’t often hear about are the significant expenses and taxes paid at each level of government by the businesses,” Jolley said. “I hope we can continue to shed light on those dynamics as well as the economic benefits to the state.”
“The margins are very tight. At the end of the day, the tax rate for our business is 30 percent or more. Our biggest competitor is not each other. Our biggest competitor is the black market, by a long shot,” Ritter said. “We are probably the highest-taxed industry in the state. We can’t raise taxes. We just can’t. Not only won’t we survive. We’ll just push more and more to the black market.”
Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom spoke of dedication to supporting the medical marijuana program as well as of outside concerns regarding education funding, saying:
“The truth is all the money that’s been raised is going to education on some level. Starting this next legislative session, we’ll have it more transparent. We’ll actually say, ‘Here’s $100 million from marijuana that goes to the school district.’ That part’s been missing because it just goes into a big fund.”
The NDA was joined by members of the industry, various stakeholders, press and lawmakers, including Senator Joyce Woodhouse, Senator Yvanna Cancela, Senator Dave Parks, former Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, University Regent Candidate Laura Perkins, NDA Board Members Ben Sillitoe and David Goldwater, and Director of Taxation Bill Anderson.