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2017 brought hurdles, record sales surge in Nevada’s recreational marijuana market

Sales remain brisk Monday, July 3, 2017, at recreational marijuana establishments across the Las Vegas valley. (Donald Lane/KSNV)

Nevada outpaced every state that came before it when it comes to recreational marijuana sales in 2017. Next year, some industry experts predict Nevada could net $1 billion in sales next year.

“This is the new Amsterdam, this is the new Denver,” said Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom, who is often referred to as the state’s ‘Godfather of the legal marijuana movement’.

It’s been a wild year for legal marijuana in Nevada. July 1 brought the first recreational pot sales after voters approved it in 2016.

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Following months of supply and distribution hurdles, came a surge in sales.

October netted a record $38 million in cannabis sales for the Silver State.

“I think you’re going to see 10 percent growth on a monthly basis,” said John Mueller of Acres Cannabis, adding that he predicts a lot more green for 2018.

“I think we could be pushing a billion dollar a year,” said Mueller.

The new year will also bring new competition in the green rush from California.

“I think the only thing that we all have to be cautious of is there’s a tremendous amount of black market that’s leaving that state right now – and keeping that out of our state,” said Mueller.

The push for pot lounges or social clubs will march on and into the New Year as well – especially since right now, there’s no practical place for visitors to use cannabis.

“We’re all talking about how we do it right... you look at Colorado it had a false start and other states have tried this -- but how do we do it right? How do we keep it out of their cars and keep people out of their cars and keep people as safe as possible?” said Mueller.

Also likely to continue into the next year: uncertainty when it comes to the federal government and whether a crackdown on state-sponsored marijuana programs could be coming.

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