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October 22, 2017

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Recreation sales bring record business to Las Vegas marijuana dispensaries

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L.E. Baskow

Plenty of cash changes hands at the Essence cannabis shop on Las Vegas Boulevard South as recreational sales of marijuana began at dispensaries across Las Vegas, Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Updated Saturday, July 1, 2017 | 10:22 p.m.

Recreational Weed Sales Start

Many customers waiting in a long line at Reef Dispensaries wear weed-related items as recreational sales of marijuana begin at Midnight in Nevada and dispensaries across Las Vegas are open too on Friday, June 30, 2017. Launch slideshow »

The first day of recreation marijuana sales in Nevada brought a spike in transactions up to five times the daily average under the previous medical-only industry, according to many local dispensary owners.

“This is something we’ve worked long and hard for,” said Andrew Jolley of The+Source dispensary. “It’s also a great day for Nevada and marijuana users who are no longer seen as criminals.”

Thousands of residents and tourists flocked to the 38 open dispensaries in Las Vegas on Saturday, enduring long lines and waiting times of more than three hours for their chance to legally purchase marijuana. A ballot question approved by voters in last November’s election, and framework for an “early start” program approved by lawmakers in the Nevada Legislature, paved the way for what marijuana industry officials have labeled a “historic day.”

At The+Source dispensary, more than 100 customers patiently waited in 110-degree heat for their turn to make a purchase. To accommodate those waiting in the heat, Jolley opened up an unused indoor area next to his dispensary, where customers stood inside next to a misting fan and were served bottled water.

“It’s a testament to those who came out today, that they’d endure this,” Jolley said. “It shows how passionate people are about this issue.”

At Inyo Dispensary at 2520 Maryland Parkway, a line of 30 patrons stood outside the dispensary during the early evening hours after more than 200 visited the dispensary when it opened at 10 a.m., owner David Goldwater said.

The wait to enter the purchasing room was estimated at about an hour in the early afternoon at Blum Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Dispensary on 1130 E. Desert Inn Road.

“I’m not worried about it, I waited 15 years,” said John Gougousis, a customer from New Jersey who said he purchased carbon dioxide oil manage pain multiple ailments suffered from working in construction.

Nevada is the fifth state — it joins Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — to allow adults to buy marijuana, which is illegally federally.

The Nevada law dictates those who made marijuana purchases had to use it at their residence. And while some surely didn’t follow the law, Metro Police as of 5 p.m. Saturday hadn’t responded to any major calls connected marijuana sales, Lt. Carlos Hank said.

Southern Nevada law enforcement agencies have been active on social media reminding the public about the guidelines to which legally and safely consume the drug. Also, Clark County produced a 30 second animated video explaining where marijuana can and can’t be consumed.

Metro created a emoji-heavy graphic highlighting the legal age to buy and use, and reminding users to not drive while impaired. The post was shared by North Las Vegas police.

Henderson Police, in a Facebook post, wrote that the agency would be enforcing the the city’s laws. “Respect your neighbors if you choose to use recreational marijuana and please do not engage in any activities that could endanger lives,” the post read. “...Keep all forms of marijuana secured safely so that it is not accessible to children or pets.”

The Nevada Highway Patrol posted on Twitter a photo of a vehicle key on top of marijuana, “DRIVE HIGH, GET A DUI.”

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