Nevada’s Supreme Court has issued a temporary injunction preventing the state from issuing coveted marijuana distribution licenses to anyone other than licensed liquor wholesalers.
In an order filed Thursday, the court denied a motion to dismiss an appeal by the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada (IADON) and effectively barred state tax officials from issuing marijuana distribution licenses to anyone other than licensed liquor distributors, saying a temporary injunction was “warranted.”
The order specifically exempts any distribution licenses issued to marijuana companies up to the present date, and scheduled oral arguments for Oct. 3.
State tax officials said they weren’t sure if they would begin issuing distribution licenses to a wider pool of applicants after the state’s Tax Commission denied an appeal from liquor distributors over the distribution issue in late August.
Under the 2016 ballot measure approving recreational marijuana use and legal sales, Nevada also afforded liquor distributors the exclusive right to transport marijuana from cultivation sites to retail storefronts for the first 18 months of recreational sales. But the initiative also allows the state tax department to open up the applicants to non-alcohol distributors if it determines an “insufficient number of marijuana distributors will result from this limitation.”
What’s resulted is a long-running administrative and legal battle between independent liquor distributors, state tax officials and recreational marijuana retailers, which finally reached the state’s highest court earlier this month.