Nevada Supreme Court Push to Settle Marijuana Distribution Battle

Nevada sign with marijuana leafThe legal battle over who can transport recreational marijuana to Nevada’s cannabis shops continues. Earlier last week, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction against the state’s newfound marijuana market; the state Department of Taxation is now unable to license marijuana businesses as distributors.

A request by the Tax Department for the temporary injunction sought by alcohol distributors was denied by the Supreme Court. The court also rejected the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada’s request to dismiss the case. So, the big question remains: will other businesses have just as much right to transport recreational weed to retail facilities as the alcohol trade?

The Nevada Supreme Court has placed this hold on distribution until it can hear oral argument from both sides. This hearing to settle who is allowed to distribute recreational cannabis is scheduled for the beginning of October 3 at Boyd School of Law at UNLV. This legal battle has been going on since June – when liquor distributors sued to stop the licensing of marijuana companies to do their own distribution – and neither group is showing signs of giving an inch.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Alcohol distributors argue that they have the exclusive right under Question 2 to distribute recreational marijuana from grow facilities to retail establishments for 18 months. The Tax Department found that the liquor industry was unable to fulfill the distribution demands so it had to license other companies.”

This issue has already had negative effects on the marijuana merchants and the market as a whole. With all the legal snags, the state’s overall cannabis supply has suffered. So much so that Governor Brian Sandoval issued a Statement of Emergency over the summer to try and boost distribution of recreational marijuana to avoid people resorting to the black market.

Another huge issue merchants and medical marijuana businesses experience is finding payment processing solutions. Marijuana merchants in need of business funding and payment processing can find fast solutions with alternative lenders like Marijuana Merchant Account (MMA). Specializing in this industry, MMA can provide funds in as little as 24 hours. The “high risk” nature of the industry is not a problem.

The expectation is that this legal battle will be resolved by the end of this year, which will hopefully improve the atmosphere for all parties involved – including marijuana merchants.


2016 Will Be Medical Marijuana’s Biggest Year With Marijuana Payment Processing

Indoor Marijuana Grow Room with Plants in Soil Under LightsWhile legalization of marijuana in many forms – and in many states – garnered over $5 billion dollars in 2015, the sums are expected to grow for 2016. More unique products are being created, and the stigma that once surrounded reefer is slowly fading. These changes are helping the industry to boom, even though it is still a federal offense to sell, grow, or possess it. The Feds are hating this legalization, but they must be loving the taxes that the government is gaining from these sales.

With 23 states and D.C. allowing medical marijuana and four states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska — plus D.C. legalizing pot for recreational use, sales are bound to keep creeping up. Combine that with Colorado’s legalization of Cannabis Oil for multiple illnesses, which is bringing a mass of children and their parents to the state for its use. While $5 billion may not sound like a lot for one product to bring in, let us put that into perspective with other products. For example, McDonald’s brings in over $1 billion alone in Big Macs. The iPhone rough in over $1 billion in the US alone last year, as well. Compared to the Big Mac and iPhone, legalized marijuana is hitting the jackpot – especially considering that there is an age restriction and it is sold in less than half of the US states.

New products, such as baked goods and lollipops are helping fuel those who are hesitant to smoke up their greens. While these gourmet products are on the pricier side, they are a growing trend in Colorado. Also, medical marijuana is gaining steam, prompting more merchants to get involved. The problem is the lack of medical marijuana payment processing options available in the USA. This is due to the Fed’s illegal stance on the industry, and the overall chargeback rates of the industry. While tough, it is possible to find a payment processor for legalized marijuana businesses, from medical to recreational. The key is to look for a processor who specializes in the industry, and not just a generic “high risk” scattering of companies. There are unique risks and challenges to the legalized marijuana industry and it is important that your payment processor is familiar with these issues.

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Prohibition of Medical Marijuana is a Win for the Black Market

weed-tax-revenue-elite-dailyIt has been 20 years since Californians approved Proposition 215, the medical marijuana policy that allows for growth and distribution of the drug to designated patients. Since then, the growth and distribution of medical marijuana has been controlled by local entities. But it was only last year that the state approved the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, a group of bills that attempts to regulate medical marijuana on a state level. The act seeks to control the cultivation, manufacturing and licensing of medical marijuana, but maintains local government’s sovereignty over marijuana businesses, cultivation, and delivery. But an erroneous deadline in the bill allows local governments to ban medical pot cultivation, dispensaries, and mobile delivery. This has made many patients who have depended on the drug for treatment nervous.

The new bills gives local governments without ordinances relating to the cultivation of medical marijuana, the ability to do so until March 1, 2016. After that, the authority goes to the state. The deadline has sent some local governments scrambling to enact any type of regulation. In fact, dozens of governments have now imposed bans on medical marijuana cultivation. Last month, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Calistoga, Merced, and Tustin banned cultivation and/or deliveries. While other cities like Riverside, voted to allow a limited amount of cultivation.

In an open letter to city and county governments, Assemblyman Jim Wood, stated an intention to strike down the deadline and keep regulation in the hands of local governments. Some local governments have indicated a willingness to take another look at ordinances if the deadline is eradicated.

If the deadline is removed, local governments should focus on regulation and not prohibition. According to Americans for Safe Access, an organization that advocates for medical marijuana, bans on commercial or personal pot cultivation hurt patients. Despite the moral qualms that some citizens may have regarding medical marijuana, the reality is that patients are legally prescribed marijuana from a doctor that has determined they can benefit from use. Banning the growth and distribution of medical cannabis will only benefit the black market. As patients lose access to the drug legally, they will seek it out in places much harder to find and control.

Marijuana Merchant Account (MMA) offers a variety of marijuana payment solutions. We are a leading source of medical and recreational payment processing and loan origination. Be ready for state regulation with consumer and government trusted standards that only MMA can provide.

Contact us to open a marijuana merchant account today!

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