Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years

passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — The first full year of legal cannabis sales in Nevada exceeded expectations by 40 percent, state tax officials said Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.

Taxable marijuana sales statewide totaled $529.9 million and raised nearly $70 million in tax revenues — including $27.5 million for schools — the Nevada Department of Taxation said.

Adult sales that first became legal on July 1, 2017, accounted for about 80 percent of that figure. Sales for medical use made up about 20 percent of the total for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018.

State Tax Director Bill Anderson is predicting combined cannabis tax revenue will total $69.4 million in the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. The number of marijuana dispensaries selling pot for adult use in Nevada totals 61, with three additional outlets dedicated solely to medical sales.

Only dispensaries that already were selling medicinal cannabis were granted recreational licenses for the first year, but that restriction won’t apply going forward.

“As we move into fiscal year 2019, we expect to see continued growth in the industry by way of additional businesses opening up, and we expect revenues to continue to be strong,” Anderson said Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.

In addition to exceeding fiscal projections, he said broad cannabis legalization has proven to be largely successful “from a regulatory standpoint.”

“We have not experienced any major hiccups or compliance issues, and our enforcement staff has worked diligently to make sure these businesses understand and comply with the laws and regulations that govern them,” Anderson said.

In addition to the $27.5 million dedicated to schools, about $42.5 million was raised this fiscal year for the state’s rainy-day fund.

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