Las Vegas Sun

September 25, 2018

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Long lines, big purchases mark first pot holiday with legal sales in Las Vegas

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Steve Marcus

Alyssa Justino helps Michael Brousseau as he shops at Exhale Nevada dispensary during a dispensary bus tour sponsored by the Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association Friday, April 20, 2018.

Marijuana Dispensary Bus Tour

An exterior view of the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace during a dispensary bus tour sponsored by the Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association Friday, April 20, 2018. Launch slideshow »

North Las Vegas resident Humberto Rodriguez and his girlfriend deliberated which strain of marijuana flower to purchase at Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace on Friday.

The 420 marijuana holiday marked the first pot purchase for Rodriguez, 23, since July 1 of last year during Nevada’s first day of legal recreational sales.

“It’s a special day for 420 culture and our city,” Rodriguez said. “We couldn’t miss it.”

Los Angeles resident Kenny Harper, also with his girlfriend at Nuwu, clutched two cartridges of THC vape fluid and asked for a half ounce of Blue Dream flower — both items were on sale for the holiday. Harper, too, hadn’t been weed shopping for “a couple months.”

Friday’s 420 holiday brought out scores of marijuana shoppers to dispensaries like Nuwu — a tribal marijuana marketplace near downtown Las Vegas — and others across the valley. Some dispensaries reported lines of up to 50 customers waiting for doors to open on Friday morning.

Chris Spotted Eagle of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribal Council said Nuwu had over 200 transactions in its first hour of business.

“It has just been nuts,” Spotted Eagle said. “Absolutely nuts.”

At The+Source dispensaries in Las Vegas and Henderson, combined crowds of over 500 people arrived more than two hours before the store opened, owner Andrew Jolley said. Wait times of nearly one hour continued at the two dispensaries as of 4 p.m. Friday, and Jolley said his final sales numbers were on pace to equal or surpass that of July 1.

Essence owner Armen Yemenidijan felt the 420 rush at his three dispensaries across the valley, as customers were also lined up outside the store for hours. Would-be Essence customer Tricia Serrano said waiting was “worth it,” thanks to discounts of up to 40 percent on some pot products.

John Mueller of Acres Cannabis celebrated the holiday by debuting a “underground” marijuana farmer’s market, where up to 10 Nevada pot companies can display their products at booths located inside a sectioned-off area of the dispensary. The farmer’s market will rotate in four new vendors each week, only opening on Friday and Saturday.

Surveys and research firms estimated that adults in pot-legal states would spend over double during the pot celebration of what they normally spend on an average dispensary trip.

Editor’s note: Brian Greenspun, the CEO, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun, has an ownership interest in Essence Cannabis Dispensary.