This week, the Nevada medical-cannabis industry is reeling from the news that Nevada pot shops cannot serve the biggest patient-base in the world: Californians with a doctor’s referral.
Only Californians with an official state medical pot ID card can take advantage of Nevada’s “reciprocity” law, whereby out-of-state patients can buy legal medical pot, the Nevada Attorney General announced.
The Nevada AG’s new clarification makes Vegas a bust for Californians hoping to do some casual drug tourism. Californians comprise up to 40 percent of sales at some Nevada medical pot shops, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
Most Californians simply get a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis, and do not complete the optional second step of signing up for a state ID card with their county.
“While there are estimates that as many as 2 million California residents have physician recommendations, the state has issued fewer than 100,000 cards,” notes, New Cannabis Ventures. A recommendation picked up on the Venice boardwalk, or via iPhone, or even Stanford Medical Center won’t cut the mustard in Nevada anymore.
“A recommendation from a California physician ad (sic) a driver’s license from another state cannot be used to obtain medical marijuana from a Nevada dispensary,” Attorney General Adam Laxalt told state health officials.
Even a completed application for a California state medical cannabis ID card will not work — you need the real thing, Laxalt stated.
Nevada officials are grappling with heated consumer and business demand for Sin City weed tourism, where “420 Tours” have taken out-of-state customers to:
“obtain a medical marijuana doctor’s note through a Skype chat with a California doctor in the back seat of his “Cannabus” SUV. The patients, frequently picked up on the Strip, describe their symptoms, receive a doctor’s recommendation printed on the spot and are taken to a Las Vegas dispensary of their choice, sometimes all in a span of less than 15 minutes.”
“You have to say some kind of pain or insomnia or something like that,” said Oregon resident and 420 Tours customer Swan Rhodes, 26, earlier this year. “Just give them something.”