License dispute could delay Nevada recreational pot sales

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The July start of Nevada's recreational marijuana sales could be delayed after a group of alcohol distributors filed a legal challenge to a licensing deadline, arguing they have the first rights to distribute recreational pot.

A judge in Carson City on Tuesday sided with the alcohol distributors and barred Nevada's Department of Taxation from enforcing a May 31 deadline to apply for marijuana distribution licenses.

The ballot initiative legalizing pot in Nevada gave liquor distributors first dibs on licenses to act as middle-men between marijuana growers, producers and retailers.

Nevada officials said there wasn't enough interest from alcohol wholesalers so medical marijuana license holders were allowed to apply.

A lawyer for the liquor distributors told Reno Gazette-Journal that dozens of distributors were interested but state officials withdrew applications amid worries about conflicts with federal law.

Sales are set to begin July 1. It's unknown how much, if at all, the legal challenge could delay the launch.

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