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Will Cannabis Become Nevada’s Top Cash Crop?

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Nevada medical Marijuana dispensariesThe Nevada medical cannabis industry is about to launch, with dispensaries expected to open later this year. As with other states that allow cannabis sales for recreation and/or medical cannabis, Nevada is about to generate some serious tax revenue and create a significant amount of jobs. Cannabis has the potential to become Nevada’s largest cash crop. Currently, alfalfa is Nevada’s top cash crop.

Per the Las Vegas Review Journal:

High-grade alfalfa grown on farms throughout Northern Nevada earns about $100 profit per acre-foot of water. Golf courses in Las Vegas make about $5,000 to $7,000 per acre-foot of water. (UNLV soil and water Professor Dale) Devitt expects pot to dwarf those figures.

Marijuana is considered a drought-tolerant plant and doesn’t require a significant amount of water to grow, said Derek Peterson, president of Terra Tech, an agricultural company that’s applied for a marijuana cultivation license in Clark County. Terra Tech wants to open a 50,000-square-foot cultivation warehouse under a Las Vegas-based subsidiary called MediFarm LLC.

While it may be arguable exactly how drought resistant cannabis is, especially in Nevada’s dry climate. Even indoor gardens, which will certainly be the primary way to grow in Nevada, will need a lot of water.

However, Mr. Peterson’s claim that cannabis will be the top cash crop in Nevada sooner than later may certainly come to fruition. If/when Nevada goes fully legal in 2016, sales will increase dramatically compared to when medical cannabis sales start later this year. Hopefully federal reform comes soon, which will potentially allow importing of cannabis from areas that aren’t as hard to grow in, and have more water than Nevada.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference

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About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.

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