West Wendover is moving quickly to start marijuana sales

Posted at 5:24 PM, Sep 29, 2017

Marijuana is big business in Nevada.

New figures released by Nevada's Department of Taxation show that in the first month of recreational cannabis sales, the state did roughly $27 million in sales. That is double the amount of Colorado and Oregon when they began marijuana sales.

Nevada generated about $3.7 million in tax revenue alone. Breaking it down, a 10 percent sales tax made $2.71 million that goes to the state's rainy day fund and another $974,000 for Nevada schools. Over the next two years, the wholesale and retail tax revenue on marijuana will make Nevada more than $120 million.

"If anything, that number that came from the state tax revenue is, if not more of a reason, the reason it's so crucial we do this right away," West Wendover Mayor Daniel Corona said in an interview Friday with FOX 13.

The West Wendover City Council is expected to decide Tuesday who gets the contract for a marijuana dispensary in the Utah-Nevada border town. By the time it is expected to open in 2018, Corona said he wants ordinances finalized to allow the dispensary to sell both recreational and medical marijuana.

Corona said he believed a lot of fears people had about marijuana in Nevada have not come to pass.

"There hasn't been a sharp increase in crime. There's only been a sharp increase in money," he said. "To me, it's a no-brainer."

Nevada voters last year approved allowing recreational marijuana sales, which began in July. FOX 13 first reported earlier this year on West Wendover's plans to allow marijuana sales. The city council visited Mesquite's lone marijuana dispensary.

West Wendover approved an ordinance clearing the way for medical and recreational cannabis sales. The mayor acknowledges many of their customers will be Utahns who make a run for the border. Of course, marijuana remains illegal in Utah.

Nevada law forbids public consumption of marijuana, but Corona said he has a legal opinion that allows communities to create a "venue" for consumption. While acknowledging he is "on the fence" about the idea of a cannabis lounge, it's something he would like West Wendover to consider.

"I think it's irresponsible not to give them a place to use it, so that's something we'll have to discuss," Corona said.