If you’re watching the evening news across the nation about Las Vegas’ retail marijuana industry, you may find yourself convinced of some pretty inaccurate information. As someone who has lived here for 18 years and been involved in the industry since early days, it is my pleasure to provide a reality check. Here are some fairy tales you may be hearing:
*Las Vegas is running out of weed! Reality Check: Nevada has 87 licensed producers and cultivators, who are all actively growing and producing incredible product. With the controversy surrounding liquor distributors in Nevada, most dispensaries did the wise thing and stocked up before July 1st. The reality is that they may certainly be low or sold out of your favorite product, but no dispensary is completely sold out of marijuana and the regulators in Nevada are working overtime to ensure emergency measures are put into place to allow for retail deliveries. This speed bump should be resolved by the end of the coming week. There’s plenty of marijuana for retail consumers to purchase. This is NOT weedpocalypse.
*Eighths of marijuana are selling for $80. Reality Check: Where?! No, really, because I’ve been into every dispensary from July 1-9 and I can’t find an $80 eighth. I was trying because I saw it on the CBS nightly news, so I had to see it with my own eyes. The increased retail taxes have increased the average price of an eighth, but it has been 15-20% to account for the tax increase. You can still find eighths of quality cannabis flower at dispensaries in the $30-40 range. If you find that $80 eighth can you share it with me? I want to know what is in it and who was clueless enough to pay that much!
*You can smoke on the Las Vegas strip! Reality Check: Please don’t. No, really. It’s illegal to consume in public places and you’ll get an expensive fine for doing so. Plus, you make the rest of us law abiding cannabis consumers look like jerks. Help the cause of normalization and follow the law by only consuming out of public view in private places. Nevada is the most regulated cannabis ecosystem in the world today, so help us lead the way by following our laws.
*Lines are around the block. Reality Check: So true! From open to close, seven days a week we are seeing lines around the block at most locations. The dispensary teams are working tirelessly to ensure that every retail and medical consumer receives a positive experience. The average high in Las Vegas is over 100 degrees, so the wait is long and hot, but I heard so many people say that they’ve been waiting for retail marijuana sales for years and they’re happy to continue waiting. Most dispensaries have a medical only line for patients and the wait for those patients has been eliminated.
The retail marijuana industry in Las Vegas is thriving. We experienced an estimated $5 million in retail sales in the first 3 days, which will help our public education system. Las Vegas has the worst public education system in all 50 states- literally rock bottom. As a mother of two girls who are in school this is a cause I care deeply about. Our children deserve better and cannabis consumers deserve to enjoy the normalization of consumption that all of us advocates have lobbied in favor of.