Legalized pot for recreational use is now available in seven states plus D.C., and even though Nevada has only been able to sell recreational for less than two weeks, it’s already prepared to boast that it is the best. Although recreational marijuana is new in Nevada, medical marijuana is not, and since the state is used to having to apply strong regulations on things like gambling and prostitution, it may have been best prepared to apply the highest standards to recreational marijuana.
Nevada has always been more forward-looking than other states when it comes to marijuana. Even whilst it was only MMJ that was legal, dispensaries in Nevada accepted patients with medical marijuana cards from other states and, thanks to the state’s regulations, these dispensaries generally have a much higher quality.
Indeed, Nevada’s dispensaries are highly-regarded, and often feature amongst the list of the best dispensaries in the US. This is quite an achievement, especially considering that there are states with far more competition in terms of the number of dispensaries available. In fact, marijuana sales in Nevada have reached about $3 million in sales revenue in just four days, generating about $500,000 in tax. By the end of the year, it is estimated that marijuana sales in Nevada should reach to around $30 million.
So, how has it been in Nevada in its first tentative steps towards legalization? We’ll answer that now, whilst chatting with three dispensaries of excellent repute, The Apothecary Shoppe, Sahara Wellness and Pisos …
“The first week has been busy! The interest of patients and customers here in the Valley has exceeded expectations. What we’ve most enjoyed about this week is seeing the happiness of the customers as they are finally able to come into a legal, licensed facility.” – Ron Reavis, Director of Operations at Pisos.
With the long queues and huge numbers of customers, it seems that Nevada’s dispensaries are happy that their doors are open to recreational customers now as well. However, they haven’t lost sight of the medical potential marijuana has, and know that Nevada residents would benefit hugely from getting a recommendation and medical marijuana card (which we here at Doctor Frank’s can provide). As Jen McClaning, Marketing Director at The Apothecary Shoppe told us:
“Medical patients still take priority at our shoppe and are never obligated to wait in line with recreational guests.”
This sentiment of education and patient care is echoed over at Sahara Wellness where owner Brenda Gunsallus told us, “We try to provide an experience. We want everyone to take their time and ask budtenders any questions. Even though it’s recreational, this gives us the opportunity to help educate others. Patients still come first to us.”
To many people’s consternation, Nevada’s liquor industry secured the licenses to distribute marijuana throughout the state for 18 months. Though this can be seen as a somewhat suspicious move, there is reasoning behind it. After all, Nevadans voted to have recreational marijuana regulated in a similar way to alcohol, and it could be argued that the alcohol companies have the cash, technology and the reach to do so effectively. This gives Nevada’s liquor industry “first dibs” on cannabis distribution licensing.