Cannabis in Nevada
Marijuana Venture’s ongoing series on every legal market in the United States explores the ever-changing rules and regulations, market trends, demographics, business leaders and more for each state that has legalized recreational marijuana. This month takes an in-depth look at Nevada, the most mountainous and driest state in the continental U.S. and home to the nation’s unofficial vice capital, Las Vegas.
Prior to COVID, Nevada attracted about 56 million visitors every year, and while the bulk of visitors go to Las Vegas, about 14 million opt for some of the state’s other attractions, including the Hoover Dam and the scenic shores of Lake Tahoe.
Cannabis has a long and somewhat scary history in the state with more than 100 years of marijuana laws that could result in being admitted to the state hospital for mental diseases or a long-term prison sentence. In 1955, state officials even tried to pass a bill that would make cannabis crimes punishable by execution or life imprisonment. Thankfully, at the tail-end of the 20th century Nevada’s days of frontier justice were finally put to rest as state voters first approved medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational marijuana in 2016.
Nevada’s adult-use cannabis industry swiftly became a high roller, with year-over-year sales going from just shy of $200 million for the last half of 2017 to about $500 million in 2018, then $638 million in 2019. During the coronavirus pandemic, sales rose again to $712 million — despite only about 19 million tourists visiting the state in 2020.
Next month, Marijuana Venture will look at Massachusetts. For information about upcoming issues or to learn about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Editor@MarijuanaVenture.com.
A special thanks to all the sponsors who helped make this issue possible: Fohse and Jardin Premium Cannabis.
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