When the State of Nevada announced it’s plans to implement recreational cannabis sales on July 1st of this year, I was elated. Cannabis has not only been proven to have medicinal benefits for a wide variety of health issues, but it can also induce relaxation, creativity, an elevated mindset, and even can help you lose weight! Plus, the war on drugs has been an overt failure, and making a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes illegal is asinine. But, I digress.
After my initial excitement about what recreational cannabis could mean for the progress of the cannabis industry in Nevada, I started thinking about the number of individuals that consume cannabis. I also started thinking about the number of tourists from all over America and the world that visit Vegas per year. Then I started to get nervous. I’m a medical patient, and I use cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms from depression, anxiety, and IBS. I rely on access to cannabis to feel better. I started wondering, amidst distribution disputes, if getting medical cannabis would be more difficult. (After about a month of recreational sales, we have heard these fears were unfounded). I went to a few different dispensaries to see for myself.
Luckily, my experience overall was pleasant. There were a TON of people lined up to buy cannabis, at all hours of the day, but most dispensaries have implemented separate lines for medical patients so that your wait time is shorter. I timed myself, and I spent under 30 minutes in most dispensaries, from check in to cash out. I was also worried about pricing. We’ve all heard rumors that 8ths were going to jump from $25 to $80! In reality, the price hike was modest – about a $10 – $15 increase across the board. But what about a cannabis shortage?! I will admit, dispensaries were running out of my favorite strains a bit quicker than usual, but there was still a wide selection to choose from, and some dispensaries have even reserved particular strains for medical patients only!
After all was said and done, I found that my anxiety over the issue was largely unnecessary. I ended up with concentrates, flower, edibles, and even a transdermal patch, paid a moderate amount, and spent way less time that I was anticipating waiting in line. The cannabis industry in Nevada is stepping up to meet the demand of both recreational and medical patients. As distribution licenses are awarded and dispensaries fine-tune their processes, I think the entire experience will remain positive for everyone.