The state of Nevada is looking to cash in on the reciprocal cannabis market, making the decision to allow medical marijuana cardholders from other states the ability to buy Nevada marijuana while visiting the state on vacation or business. This form of reciprocity between states creates a marijuana tourism market for those who wish to try what other states have to offer.
Nevada is not the first state to allow licensed out-of-towners the ability to buy marijuana while visiting their fair state. Rhode Island and Maine both already have similar reciprocity programs, and in recreational states anyone is free to purchase small amounts as long as you are of proper age. However, the big difference here is that Nevada will be the first major tourist destination that will honor another state’s medical marijuana prescriptions. The States Visitors Authority estimates that 40 million people visit Las Vegas each year, and if you throw in other Nevada tourist destinations such as Reno and Laughlin, you can stack another 10-15 million visitors on top of that.
This move towards marijuana tourism has probably more to do with what’s going on in Colorado and their business model than any plans for a long-term reciprocity system with other like medical marijuana states. This is because Nevada, along with a handful of other states, has a good chance to go fully recreational come the next election in 2016. In turn, this would pretty much make medical marijuana prescriptions and any kind of MMJ central database, which most states sorely lack, a moot point.
All in all, I'm happy to see this move. Just the fact that there are no plans in the works to create a MMJ central database makes me confident that Nevada is truly eyeing 2016, and it's a real chance to cash in on the marijuana tourism market.