Tax-Free Tribal Cannabis to Hit Shelves in Nevada

Near downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, a 15,800 square-foot retail cannabis facility will open in early September on tribal land. The Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace will sell tax-free cannabis thanks to a new Nevada cannabis law.

Senate Bill 375 was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval on June 2 and opened up the door to the sale of recreational cannabis on tribal grounds. Later on July 18 a compact agreement was signed by Gov. Sandoval and the Las Vegas Paiutes to open up the mega store.

1987’s Supreme Court ruling California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians indicated that state tax regulations couldn’t be applied to casinos on Native American reservations. The same logic applies to cannabis on Nevada’s Native American reservations. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 provided a regulatory framework for gaming on Native American lands. Similarly, the 2014 Justice Department memo allows tribes to grow cannabis. Native Americans have the advantage of exemption from IRS Code 280E, which burdens other cannabis businesses.

The Paiute tribe could foresee the economic benefit in recreational cannabis. With the opening of the Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace, the tribal leaders plan on having 2,500 customers per day. With tax-free cannabis, those projections could be achievable. “We’re pretty sure this is bigger than anyone here will have ever seen,” Las Vegas Paiute Chairman Benny Tso told the Las Vegas Sun. “We want to raise the bar on the cannabis industry, and we want the industry to come with us.” The store will be located on Main St. and north of Washington Ave.

The marketplace will have 13 point-of-sale checkout lines to promote efficiency. Customers will be greeted upon entry with “water walls” on both sides of the store to provide pleasant meditative background noise. The southeast wall will have views of the Las Vegas Strip.

The 56-member tribe will hire 100 employees within the first few months of operations, according to Tso. The tribe broke ground on another 3,000-square-foot dispensary in the same area as well as an 84,000-square-foot cultivation facility and a 10,000-square-foot production facility.

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