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Nevada pot regulators given more funds to deal with demand

Nevada pot regulators given more funds to deal with demand
The Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s marijuana regulators say they are trying to keep up with demands at recreational dispensaries, where sales continue to outpace projections.

The Nevada Appeal reports the Interim Finance Committee approved an additional $1.5 million for the Department of Taxation to hire more security guards and staff to process background checks for workers at marijuana facilities.

Sales have surpassed projections every month since recreational marijuana for adult use became legal July 1.

Taxation Director Bill Anderson told the Interim Finance Committee this week the workload is severely straining the existing staff.

Recreational sales reached their highest monthly total in March. The $41 million in sales was a 16 percent increase from February and a 14.5 percent jump up from the previous monthly record in December.

“It’s pretty obvious things have gotten off to a stronger start than what was anticipated,” Anderson told the panel on Wednesday. “We’ve collected 97 percent of the taxes we thought we would collect for the entire year.”

Taxes on medicinal and recreational pot in the first nine months totaled $48.97 million. The fiscal year projection was $50.3 million.

In addition to security guards, the department intends to convert eight temporary positions to permanent jobs and add another eight slots to handle tasks such as processing state agent cards required to work in retail, wholesale and processing of both medical and recreational pot.

The work programs also pay for videoconferencing equipment, a case management system and new equipment including printers.

Anderson said the state now has 116 licensed cultivators, 80 producers and 61 dispensaries.

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Information from: Nevada Appeal, http://www.nevadaappeal.com

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