As of July 1st, Nevada has officially joined the ranks of states where adults can legally buy recreational cannabis, and Sin City is celebrating. The state voted to legalize on November 8th of last year, and shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, sales kicked off in a big way, with lines wrapping around blocks where dispensaries are situated near the Strip.
Among those waiting in line at The+Source dispensary was Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom, a major proponent of legalization who’s considered the “godfather of the marijuana movement” in Nevada. The Senator made the store’s first purchase, a pre-rolled joint of the strain named for him, Segerblom Haze. “When I was doing this back in the 60s, it didn’t look like this,” the Senator joked. “No seeds, no stems, no sticks. This is pure bud.” He added, “It’s a legally recognized form of entertainment, and we’re the entertainment capital of the world. People come here, get a good hotel room, go out to a good restaurant, go to a good concert, and come here to buy the best marijuana in the world.”
The Senator has good reason to be exuberant, as Nevada will most likely experience a windfall as a result of legalization. The state’s governor, Brian Sandoval, expects to see nearly $70 million in tax revenue from the cannabis industry over the next two years.
Cannabis industry experts speculate that Nevada’s market may become the nation’s biggest, in large part because of the 42 million tourists who visit Las Vegas each year. An estimated 63 percent of cannabis customers will be tourists, industry regulators predict. But that begs the question – given that consumption is illegal in hotels and casinos, where will all these tourists consume? There are at least two possible outcomes of the situation that could have negative consequences for consumers. First, edibles are expected to be the choice of many tourists. That could be a bit of a problem, considering that the effects of edibles can “sneak up” on the consumer. There may be issues with unexperienced tourists gorging themselves on edibles because they think they’re not feeling anything. The second outcome may be an unanticipated financial boon for the state, as there’s a $600 fine for getting caught smoking in public. It’s likely that scores of tourists will be ignorant of the public consumption rules and end up getting hefty tickets.
At The Green Solution®, we welcome Nevada to the ten percent of states that allow adults the freedom to purchase and enjoy cannabis recreationally. Only 90 percent to go!