Just in time for the long Independence Day weekend, recreational marijuana has become legal July 1 in Las Vegas and all of Nevada.
For around $7 to $10, you can now walk into one of the dozens of dispensaries and buy a joint. Just don’t plan on smoking it along the Strip or on downtown’s Fremont Street because you’ll be breaking the law.
For those who love to party in Sin City, here are two key things to remember about the recreational marijuana law:
--You must be 21 or older, and able to prove it with government ID, to buy marijuana.
--Tourists will be limited as to where they can indulge without getting hassled or busted.
“Marijuana is legal in the privacy of your own home, your own domain,” said Officer Jay Rivera, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “You cannot smoke it publicly.
“As far as I know, there’s no hotel property that allows it either on the Strip or Fremont Street,” he added. “They do not want it on their property.”
In a statement, Caesars said: "Marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, and the Nevada referendum and state law will specifically prohibit its use in public places. For these reasons, the consumption of marijuana will continue to be impermissible at all Caesars Entertainment properties in Nevada.”
Gordon Absher, a senior executive at MGM Resorts, was even more blunt.
“Use of marijuana remains prohibited at our properties notwithstanding approval of recreational use in Nevada,” he said in an email.
Despite such warnings, Armen Yemenidjian, the owner of Essence Cannabis Dispensary, said he expects business at his three medical marijuana dispensaries to double or triple once recreational use becomes legal.
His three locations, which include the only dispensary on the Strip just north of Sahara Avenue, stock a variety of products, from marijuana plant flowers to vape cartridges. The display cases are also full of edible products infused with THC, the cannabis chemical that produces a high.
Yemenidjian said prices may fluctuate based on supply and demand. The company grows its marijuana in a sophisticated greenhouse not far from the Strip. However, he expects his and other dispensaries to sell infused brownies and gummies for around $40 to $50 each.
The dispensary owner said his employees are trained to discuss marijuana’s effects with customers. He used his 10-square chocolate bars — with prices starting at about $20 — to make a point.
“We would always recommend with edibles that people go ‘low [in quantity] and slow,’ meaning you take one 10 milligram square, wait an hour and see what the effects are,” he said. “Everybody’s body reacts differently to cannabis.”
Don’t expect to find any products resembling the crushed marijuana leaves sold illegally in small plastic bags. Nevada weed is tightly regulated and therefore high-quality.
“It’s all tested by a third-party independent lab to ensure there are no pesticides, no microbials, no issues with the product,” he said.
By a 54.5% majority, Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana last November.