Tourists and locals celebrated “4/20” in Las Vegas for the first time since marijuana was legalized for recreational use.
Marijuana street dealers are posing as legitimate dispensaries across Las Vegas to take advantage of your money, according to dispensary owners 13 Action News spoke to.
For the first time ever, Nevada’s recreational pot users are able to legally celebrate the unofficial weed holiday known as 4/20.
Before NuWu Cannabis Marketplace even opened Friday morning, officials with the dispensary’s tribe report that they started the day with a line of around 100 people.
It’s not just NuWu, dispensaries throughout the valley are reporting big business — and not only with out of towners taking advantage of the new recreational use law — but with locals as well.
“It changes lives, it really does. It’s more than just a stoners at home getting high on the couch,” said Tracy Carson, who has lived in Las Vegas for more than a decade.
Carson’s plans on 4/20 brought on a first for her in 2018 though.
“For those of us that have been in the cannabis culture for many years, this is huge as far as what we have done for legalizing it. We now are rec. for 21 and older here in nevada and it’s just really a celebration of cannabis here in our community.”
As a side effect of the legalized recreational use, local dispensaries are expecting big foot traffic this weekend in celebration of the day.
Including Savannah Cullum doesn’t plan to use marijuana at all Friday. Instead she’s out in support of her sister, who was given an 18 percent chance to live from terminal cancer. She says that was five years ago.
“I’m out her doing this for my sister,” she said. “She got a medical marijuana card, she was prescribed it by her doctor, and it literally did a 360 for her it turned her life around, and to this day she thinks it’s one of the leading medications that helped save her life.”
Nevada is now one of only nine states, along with Washington, DC, where a doctor’s note is no longer needed for those over the age of 21 to purchase the product.
“No public consumption, we’re going to hit up all the dispensaries that are having specials, get us a goodie bag to celebrate the culture an head home to relax this evening,” said Carson.
There are still rules surrounding marijuana use locally. It has to be used within the closed walls of your home. It is also illegal to drive while high.
To help with that, AAA is offering its “Tipsy Tow” service today. The Auto Club will tow your car home for free on Friday if you are too intoxicated to drive.
AAA Tipsy Tow service will start 4:20 p.m. on Friday, April 20, and continue until 4:20 a.m. April 21.
To take advantage of the service, drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers should call1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) and state that they need a Tipsy Tow.
Drivers should be prepared to provide their name, home address, phone number, location and vehicle description.
John Locher / AP
Friday, April 20, 2018 | 2 a.m.
The 420 marijuana holiday today will feature more money spent at pot dispensaries and a higher number of the plant’s users missing work, according to a report published this week.
A survey of 1,000 American adults likely to consume marijuana on 420 revealed the average customer is budgeting $146 for marijuana purchases, according to financial website LendEDU. That figure includes actual pot products as well as paraphernalia and ‘munchies’ to satisfy an increase in appetite caused by consuming the plant.
The poll also found 35 percent of employed 420 participants plan to take off work for the weed holiday.
“Marijuana is becoming more mainstream and commercial, making this holiday even more popular than years’ past,” said Mike Brown, a research analyst with LendEDU.
Brown, whose company collaborated with polling site Pollfish to produce the report, said Las Vegas customers will likely spend less than the numbers published in the survey, due to Nevada’s ‘significantly’ less expensive prices on the legal plant.
The poll’s numbers fall in line with figures published by Colorado-based pot research firm BDS Analytics — who said April 20 sales are traditionally 220 percent higher than average-day sales for legal marijuana dispensaries. A 2016 Headset Inc. study of over 40,000 marijuana buyers in Washington found the average customer spends between $27 and $64 when legally shopping for marijuana.
Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said he expects all of Nevada’s 62 operating dispensaries to experience a sales boom. Jolley, who also owns The+Source dispensaries in Las Vegas and Henderson, said Friday’s sales figures could exceed the 24-hour totals of the first day of recreational sales on July 1.
Over a dozen dispensaries and venues across the Las Vegas Valley are hosting 420 celebrations, featuring music and prizes, to commemorate the first pot holiday with legal recreational weed sales in Nevada.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) —
Where is cannabis legal and how did we get here?
It started in California in 1996. The Golden State was the first to legalize medical cannabis. It was followed in 1998 by Oregon, Alaska, and Washington.
By 2012, medical cannabis was legal in Maine, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, Vermont, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona, Delaware, and Connecticut.
That same year, Colorado and Washington legalized recreational weed. The passage paved the way for legal recreational cannabis in other places including California. Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. also now allow recreational use.
Medical cannabis is still legal in California and 17 other states as well. In fact, most states in the country now have some allowance for medical cannabis.
There are, however, still where states where weed isn’t legal on any level, Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska.
Watch the video above for a map illustrating where cannabis is legal.
Click here for more stories, pictures and videos on cannabis.
(Copyright ©2018 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
John Locher / AP
Thursday, April 19, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Friday marks Nevada’s first 4/20 since recreational marijuana sales were legalized last July. With more than 45 dispensaries in the Las Vegas Valley and 62 statewide expecting increased sales for the unofficial pot holiday, here’s a look at 20 ways that legal weed has affected our state:
1. More cannabis products
After waiting more than two years for recreational sales to begin, many of the state’s 205 combined cultivation and production facilities have more than doubled the quantity of pot products they manufacture and distribute to meet the demand from increased dispensary sales, said Riana Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association.
2. Increased tax revenue
More than $35.9 million was collected by the Nevada Department of Taxation from a combined 15 percent wholesale tax for medical and recreational pot and a 10 percent excise tax on recreational weed sales, from July 1 to January 31. Revenue from the wholesale tax is allocated to fund state and local government regulation of the industry, and what’s left is deposited into the Distributive School Account. Revenue from the excise tax is deposited in the Nevada Rainy Day Fund.
3. It made legal weed profitable
Almost all marijuana dispensaries in the medical-only model from 2015 through mid-2017 lost money after factoring in expenses and a federal tax rate of about 70 percent (compared with a tax rate of about 30 percent for regular, federally legal businesses). On July 1 of last year, marijuana businesses became profitable overnight as recreational sales saw customer bases multiply tenfold.
4. It’s made business owners’ investments worth the money
Some owners say they’re just now starting to make money on their original investment in marijuana establishments, which include testing labs and cultivation and production facilities, as well as dispensaries.
5. Fewer patients are participating in the state’s medical marijuana program
The number of medical marijuana cardholders in Nevada fell from about 28,300 in May 2017 to about 21,700 through February 2018, according to numbers from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
6. Recreational marijuana gave medical buyers anonymous access to the plant
Instead of applying and paying for a state-licensed medical card, many are opting to buy the same product recreationally, said Nevada State Sen. Tick Segerblom. While recreational buyers pay 10 percent more on their pot purchases than medical patients, they’re offered the privacy of not submitting their names to the state.
7. It provided competition for the black market
While no one in Nevada’s marijuana industry will deny illegal cultivators and sellers are still found in abundance across the state, those black market dealers now have competition. David Goldwater, owner of Inyo
Fine Cannabis Dispensary, said most new marijuana customers are choosing legal weed at dispensaries where strict testing standards and childproof bags are mandated.
8. … But the black market is also benefiting from legal pot
As more dispensaries and customers enter Nevada’s legal marijuana industry, so do more “bad actors” piggybacking on the names of legal pot businesses. Four interviewed dispensary owners said they’ve
found illegal dealers using their dispensaries’ logos on Facebook or other third-party online marketplace pages to advertise illegal deals.
9. Legalization has provided a wide range of pricing on the plant …
… which benefits consumers, industry members say. In an industry where consumers pay close attention to price, according to Inyo’s Goldwater, competition has allowed better deals for pot buyers.
Unfortunately, that competition also extends to the black market, Goldwater said. Illegal sellers can undercut the legal industry’s prices, because they avoid taxes and costs of testing the plant at local labs.
10. It created jobs
Almost 7,000 new jobs had been added by the fledgling industry through December, according to the most recent figures from the Nevada Dispensary Association.
11. There are more real estate investments
More than $300 million has been invested in real estate by marijuana companies, as a matter of fact.
12. It put pressure on financial institutions to find banking solutions … or be bypassed
As cryptocurrencies continue to grow in the marijuana space, some interviewed dispensary owners believe digital currencies to be a viable alternative to banks for the currently all-cash business.
13. For now, it put more cash on the streets
As marijuana business owners still search for banking solutions, some are still stuck with tens of thousands of dollars of cash on hand and no willing outlet to take their deposit. As a result, they have turned to grocery store money orders or even using Febreze spray to mask the pot scent when they deposit their marijuana profits.
14. More people have access to herbal medicine
While many are buying the plant for its psychedelic effects, adults also purchase the plant to treat a variety of illnesses, ranging from pain and soreness to cancerous tumors, said Andrew Jolley of the Source dispensary. The opportunity to purchase the plant legally and without a prescription has made a long-used remedy for many illnesses more accessible.
15. More pets have access, too
Cannabidiol (CBD)-based dog and cat foods have also found their way into the legal weed market. While these products contain only trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychedelic ingredient found in marijuana, their high CBD content can help pets problems such as pain, anxiety and lack of energy.
16. More precise DUI measures for marijuana
As part of the framework to set up the recreational marijuana industry, the 2017 Nevada Legislature passed a law to remove urine and saliva from marijuana DUI tests, leaving only blood tests to determine the level of marijuana concentrates in a person’s body when he or she is arrested. The blood-only method was praised by state Sen. Segerblom as being more accurate than other tests, which can show marijuana metabolites days and sometimes weeks after a person uses the plant.
17. Demand for lounges
Nevada law still doesn’t allow for a legal place to consume marijuana other than a person’s private residence. That includes hotel-casinos, where many of the Las Vegas Valley’s 43 million annual tourists stay during their vacations here. With Denver, San Francisco and cities in Massachusetts all opening cannabis lounges, pressure has been on state and local officials to find a solution to the ongoing consumption problem.
18. Amnesty bins at the airport
Clark County officials voted to place amnesty bins—places where pot users can leave their marijuana behind before hopping on a plane—at McCarran International Airport. The bins were installed in February.
19. Big boost for a local tribe
The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe in October opened the 15,500 square-foot NuWu Cannabis Marketplace on tribal lands near Downtown Las Vegas. It’s now one of the Valley’s most popular dispensaries, serving more than 1,000 pot buyers each day, according to tribal officials.
20. It’s a challenge for casinos
The federally regulated casino industry has wanted no part in the federally illegal plant’s expansion in Nevada, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board has made that sentiment clear. Casinos caught allowing marijuana use on their premises risk losing their gaming licenses, control board officials said last year. But without a place to legally smoke the plant, tourists staying in casinos are likely to sneak and consume marijuana in their hotel rooms, or in popular areas like the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.
This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.
Silver State Relief
175 E. Greg St., Sparks, 440-7777
Budtender Kyle Bayfield demonstrates how to use a dab rig.
Occasionally, my enthusiasm for the Drink column leads to, let’s say, “an extended investigatory effort” into Reno’s alcohol offerings. As it goes, I recently found myself in the throes of a hangover—call it an occupational hazard—severe enough for me to research effective cures.
My usual remedies include the familiar Advil, some form of bread, long periods of immobility, and chugging water. Since my days as an undergrad, though, I’ve yet to find a more immediate relief from the headache, nausea and general angst of a hangover than marijuana—and I’m not alone. Anthony Bourdain stated in 2016 that his go-to hangover cure was a similar routine: “Aspirin, cold Coca-Cola, smoke a joint, eat some spicy Sichuan food—works every time,” he told TMZ.
Regardless, since Nevada legalized recreational marijuana sales last July, I thought I’d have my preferred next-morning treatment validated by the professionals at Silver State Relief cannabis dispensary.
Advocates for marijuana’s curative properties have been equating cannabis with a range of medications for decades, and researchers are beginning to build a better understanding of how it interacts with the body. It turns out, there’s a lot going on.
“If you can treat yourself after a hangover with an edible, that would probably be the most effective route, but smoking would be the quickest,” said budtender Kyle Bayfield. “If you eat an edible, that will go through your liver, and that’ll disperse throughout your body a little bit more intensely.”
An evolving understanding of the hundreds of compounds in marijuana combined with new methods of ingestion and a dizzying variety of strains means that there are virtually infinite combinations of effects cannabis could present. For my purposes, though, Bayfield said there were a few things to look out for.
“The terpenes, 100 percent, play the most dominant role in treating everything,” Bayfield said, referring to a family of compounds believed to be responsible for cannabis’ smell, taste and various effects. “Myrcene and limonene have an effect where they decrease the resistance in the brain’s blood barrier, meaning that all the other cannabinoids and terpenes can be absorbed way quicker.”
Bayfield said aside from being a mood stabilizer, limonene allows for greater absorption of marijuana’s main active compound, THC, which provides the immediate pain relief and anti-nausea benefits—as well as the psychoactive high. Different strains can be bought as dried flower (a.k.a. weed-classic), as extracted oils for vape pens or dab rigs, or as premade foodstuffs or additives.
While many cannabis enthusiasts might consider the THC euphoria to be an added bonus for its pain-relieving qualities—guilty—the real value of cannabis as treatment for people with far more debilitating illnesses than my hangover lies in a different chemical: CBD.
“You can call it the cousin of THC,” Bayfield said. “It’s the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis.”
Aside from providing a treatment for anxiety—another documented symptom of hangovers—CBD is responsible for cannabis’ longer-lasting analgesic effects. This means that repentant drinkers should look for fairly even CBD to THC ratio.
Horticulture student Reno Myers said he believes that trying to pursue marijuana growing in a red state like Louisiana is a dead end. But, it might not be that way for much longer.
The LSU Board of Supervisors gave President F. King Alexander the authority to grow medical marijuana under a 3.4 million contract with GB Sciences, a Las Vegas company, in 2016. At this stage in the agreement, GB Sciences is renovating the production facility and anticipates product availability by mid 2018, but specific details are still under wraps.
In 2015, the Louisiana Legislature enacted a law allowing for the cultivation, production and use of medical marijuana, giving the task and licensing rights to the LSU AgCenter and Southern University Agricultural Center. The purpose of the project is to create an “additional revenue source to sustain operations and offset the past eight years of budget reductions as a result of declining revenues to the State,” as stated in the business plan.
Bill Richardson, dean of the Agriculture College, said that GB Sciences Inc., a company selected from among seven candidates, is the best for the job. GB Sciences finished sixth out of 40 candidates in an AgCenter competition for a medical marijuana license and has a new and promising CEO, John Poss.
They planned to have plants growing before the end of 2017, and medication prescribed sometime between January and March of 2018, but they appear to be behind schedule. The LSU AgCenter will require that the facility be located in East Baton Rouge Parish, however, no LSU students will be employed at the indoor growing facility and it won’t be adjacent to campuses, according to The Advocate.
GB Sciences said it expects the center will eventually generate “$10 million in annual sales,” and because of the newly ruled recreational sales of pot in Nevada, success is easily foreseeable for all involved. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy relative to transportation has established the distribution process and regulations.
“GB Sciences’ most recent quarterly report included a note saying the company has lost $28.1 million since inception and burned through $2.8 million during the first nine months of the fiscal year,” according to The Advocate, which forced the company to file for bankruptcy.
Many discourage investment with GB Sciences, a company that has changed its name and business plan multiple times because of instability and financial history. When speaking with The Advocate, Poss argued that the public filings don’t reflect the true nature of the company’s finances.
GB Sciences will have to attract more money from investors if it does not meet financial requirements. Louisiana law states “any contract for the license awarded pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed five years,” permitting the production by a licensed facility by January 1, 2020.
LSU’s business plan acknowledges that the continuation of this law past the date will require action by the Legislature. If the legislature does not extend the Act, the cannabis program will terminate. The AgCenter estimates it could take four to nine years for revenue to catch up with expenses. Also, LSU may have to repeat the vendor selection process if GB Sciences does not meet set standards.
The plans call to invest up to $6.5 million over the next two years in the expansion of an existing office-and-warehouse building and to set up operations. The five-year contract requires GB Sciences to pay the AgCenter 10 percent of the sales and a minimum of $500,000 a year for research. It’s likely that the AgCenter will benefit from retaining 50 percent of the intellectual property rights gained from research.
The company’s plans also call for “putting $300,000 into a nonprofit each year to educate Louisiana residents and doctors about what medical marijuana is and the combinations of medicines that work for diseases,” according to an article in The Advocate.
The AgCenter will not invest state dollars in the production program above and beyond conducting due diligence on the program. However, state dollars may be invested to expand the AgCenter’s research opportunities. University knowledge gained from the minimally researched plant will benefit the medicinal industry and laws.
State law requires the medicine to be in liquid form, such as oil or spray, capsules or pills, edible dosages, topical applications, transdermal patches or suppositories. GB Sciences has been researching cannabis properties and has filed patents on three different compounds that address aspects of neurological conditions, inflammatory disorders and heart disease, according to an article in The Advocate.
The company has a number of patents for treatments, including heart, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, and Huntington’s diseases, dementia, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma. Nine pharmacies in each parish are permitted under the act in addition to a tenth reserved for future needs.
“[Being arrested for weed] cost me my education. I would be graduating from LSU in May for engineering,” said a former LSU student who was arrested after K-9 units sniffed out paraphernalia in his carpooler’s vehicle. “I lost TOPS because the alternative school I was sent to offered only two classes.”
On the flip side, another student, who has worked in law enforcement for eight years, said that the biggest thing he’s noticed throughout his career is that recreational marijuana users don’t end up behind bars for years and years.
“In fact, most of the people I worked with are not going to arrest someone for minor possession,” he added, unless there was an intent to distribute.
Another student, who chose to remain anonymous, was charged $660 after being found with a “tiny piece of blunt and a gram.” To make matters worse, it was only her third time using cannabis. After going through a pretrial diversion program, the charge was wiped clean from her record.
Offenders, like these students, and those in pursue of medicinal careers said they are frustrated at the progress of the state’s stagnant cannabis laws. But, things are looking up; in March, the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan City Council voted 8-4 to decriminalize marijuana.
Former University student Kyle Craig owns Rhizosphere, LLC., which he opened after moving to Washington. He specializes in horticultural consulting, research and production for the legal cannabis industry. Craig said he thinks marijuana belongs out in the open, growing naturally under the sun, according to an interview conducted by The Leader.
Even though cannabis grown outside is more sustainable and ideal with Louisiana’s climate conditions, state regulations require that medical marijuana be produced in an indoor facility.
“The only option for the motivated new generation of growers is to head to one of the eight recreational states that have established cannabis operations,” Myers said.
After gaining new capabilities, hopefully cannabis farmers will be able to carry out their careers in Louisiana if future laws allow.
“Many educated and motivated students and graduates seek to create a legitimate safe market for cannabis consumption,” he said.
Marijuana Business Daily predicted that medical marijuana sales will be up to 11 billion by 2020, so it’s not surprising to see large institutions, such as LSU, prospecting in cannabis. Many have suggested that cannabis has the ability to benefit a number of illnesses, most notably the opioid crisis, which is one of the leading causes of injury death in the United States.
It’s likely we will see an increase in medical cannabis use and careers in our lifetime, as they stigma begins to lessen and cannabis continues to revolutionize and replace damaging prescriptions from Big Pharma.
Top story: Las Vegas Lights spark up with Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace.
Soccer: US second-tier side Las Vegas Lights have became the first professional sports team in the country to partner with a marijuana dispensary.
The Vegas outfit, who joined the United Soccer League (USL) this year, have signed a deal with the Paiute tribe to promote the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace at their Cashman Field stadium this season.
Recreational marijuana has been sold in Nevada since July 2017.
“We love Las Vegas, and we’re not embarrassed to support any business here,” said Lights owner Brett Lashbrook. “This is the right time and the right market to do this, and we’re not going to hide. We think this will be part of the destigmatization of this substance and business. This isn’t some shady guys walking around with hoods over their heads. This shop is closer to an Apple Store.”
Federal laws regarding advertising marijuana to children mean the team has to be careful as to what it can promote inside the stadium, but ESPN report that the Lights anticipate the partnership will include a branded marijuana inside the dispensary.
Negotiations of the day
Brazilian daily O Globo are reporting Netflix are in talks with the Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF) regarding a behind-the-scenes documentary following the Brazil national soccer team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. According to the report, Netflix will accompany the players and the coaching staff on a day-to-day basis in Russia from the hotel to the dressing room and through training. It is fair to say most people would be chill with that.
Our industry digest will update throughout the day as deals break so check back to make sure you do not miss a story
WEST WENDOVER, NEVADA (News4Utah) – A vote in this small Nevada Tuesday night could have a big impact on Utah by making recreational marijuana available for sale just across the state line.
We could be one step closer to having legal recreational marijuana sales just 90 minutes from Salt Lake City because the West Wendover City Council is going to discuss licensing those establishments.
“It’s up for a vote tonight and a decision will be made on it this evening,” Councilman John B. Hanson told News4Utah Tuesday.
Councilman Hanson says that 57 percent of West Wendover residents voted in favor of recreational pot but he’s not sure how he will vote and the Council is divided as well.
“There’s no secret about it, two of them and the Mayor are definitely for it,” Hanson said. “And three of us would really like to make a good decision and so on and taking our time and making a clear decision we’re accused of dragging our feet…Is this the right thing, recreational marijuana for West Wendover Nevada or not, there are pros and cons.”
Hanson says the pros are increased tax revenues for this border tourist town but the cons are potential negative consequences on both sides of the state line. Some Utahns News4Utah asked said they would make the drive to get high… but didn’t want to say so on camera.
“I have big concerns about Utah,” Hanson said. “There will be people coming out here. I guess the question is when they take it back over the line how that affects the people of Utah. It is still illegal in Utah, possessing it, transporting it and what have you would be a concern.”
West Wendover and Utah residents will know the outcome when the City Council votes at their 7 o’clock meeting Tuesday night.