Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2019

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Finishing touches for Planet 13 as mega-dispensary set to open

Planet 13 Preview

Christopher DeVargas

Former Henderson Mayor Bob Groesbeck, co-CEO of Planet 13, poses for a photo Monday Oct. 29, 2018.

Planet 13 Preview

A look at Planet 13 Dispensary, Monday Oct. 29, 2018. Launch slideshow »

Tractors and commercial trucks moved their way through a crowded marijuana dispensary parking lot Monday just three days before the superstore was set to open to the public.

Planet 13’s new 40,000-square-foot facility — located on West Desert Inn Road near Sammy Davis Jr. Drive — features a massive 16,500-square-foot mega-dispensary, a lobby that resembles that of a luxury Strip hotel, a coffee shop and loads of entertainment. It was at full capacity Monday afternoon as workers put the finishing touches on a three-month turnaround from empty warehouse to pot-selling spectacle.

“The whole idea is to make this experiential for the customer, where it’s more than a traditional buying opportunity,” said Bob Groesbeck, a former mayor of Henderson who shares the title of CEO with former Henderson Councilman Larry Scheffler. “It’s about getting immersed in this entire entertainment complex we have to offer.”

With 47 large-screen TVs and 42 cash registers placed around the facility, Planet 13’s new $8 million store is set to surpass dispensary giant NuWu Cannabis Marketplace for the largest pot store in the valley. But what sets it apart, its owners say, is a focus on making the new facility a must-stop destination for Las Vegas tourists.

Artists from England, Germany, Poland and Los Angeles were among dozens competing to design a variety of entertainment offerings inside and outside Planet 13’s new facility, Groesbeck said. The Los Angeles artist won the rights to create a dozen Burning Man-inspired light-up lotus flowers on the facility’s roof, while an LED light motion-sensing floor was made by an artist from London.

Groesbeck said a state-of-the-art sound system and five calibrated orb balls from Germany, floating around the dispensary area’s ceiling, will give the feel of a Las Vegas nightclub. Outside, gigantic projectors will create an art wall for visitors with faux spray cans to draw digital images and take pictures. The drawings, Scheffler said, will be erased with a click of a button so visitors waiting in line have a clean canvas when it's their turn to “draw” on the wall.

Planet 13’s other facility on 4850 W. Sunset Road, which opened in March 2016, will close when the superstore opens Thursday. Groesbeck said the company needs to use its sole state dispensary license to operate the new mega facility, but hopes to be awarded another dispensary license when a new batch is released by the Nevada Department of Taxation in December. If awarded an additional license, Scheffler said the smaller, “cute” Planet 13 dispensary will reopen.

The new superstore is located just one block off Las Vegas Boulevard next to Reef, another mega dispensary. Groesbeck said there’s “enough business to go around” for both Reef, which serves up to 3,000 customers a day, and Planet 13. Aiming at tourists staying on the Strip, Groesbeck said he expects to welcome at least 2,000 customers per day, and dreams of one day having 5,000 daily customers.

Asked if there’s any doubt Planet 13 will be up and running by its planned start date, Groesbeck said the superstore was still on schedule, despite the dozens of construction workers, engineers and cleaning crews on site Monday.

“We’ll be ready,” he said. “Count on it.”