Nevada opens pot distribution to non-liquor wholesalers

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's marijuana regulators have decided to start issuing pot distribution licenses to businesses other than liquor wholesalers to keep up with overwhelming demand since legal recreational sales began July 1.

The Nevada Department of Taxation voted Thursday to open up the market previously limited to liquor distributors under the state ballot measure voters approved in November.

Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said they'll begin reviewing about 80 applications they received in May from other businesses.

Tax officials previously tried to open the distribution process to medical dispensaries, but liquor wholesalers argued in court that violated state law.

A Carson City judge sided with the wholesalers, saying the state needed to establish formal criteria to determine if there aren't enough distributors to do the job.

However, a judge issued a temporary restraining order that could stop the Department of Taxation from licensing non-liquor distributors, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The state tax commission approved an emergency regulation last month intended to meet the judge's concerns.

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