Marijuana market heating up in Nevada.

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FullSizeRender-34Dozens of people waited in line on July 31, 2015 for the opening of Nevada’s very first medical marijuana dispensary, located in Sparks, Nevada.

Nevadan voters approved the use and sale of medical marijuana back in 2000. In 2013 state legislators approved laws, setting up a framework for regulation and taxation of the product.

Dana Metz, age 64, was among the first people in line at Silver State Relief when they opened their doors at 10am that Friday. “It’s been a lot of years waiting for this,” Metz said with a smile. “It just makes a better quality of life.”

Currently there are 10,027 people with medical marijuana cards in the state of Nevada. Approximately 6,696 of those cardholders are living in Clark County. Being the sates population hub, Clark County is having difficulty opening centers from what dispensary owners and marijuana operators claim is bureaucratic red tape and recurrently changing requirements.

Nevada is one of the 23 states that allows the use and sale of medical marijuana, along with Washington DC and Guam. Unless the next legislature takes action soon, Nevadans will consider another ballot measure in 2016, which could legalize recreational marijuana.

Majority of the 23 states and 2 territories that have approved medicinal marijuana have dispensaries that are up and operational. On average, dispensaries open within 18 months of legislative approval.

Recreational marijuana use and sales have been approved in 4 states so far- Customers can purchase in Colorado and Washington. Alaska and Oregon have approved recreational marijuana, but no stores have opened yet.

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