Pubdate: Sat, 01 Jul 2017
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2017 Los Angeles Times
Author: Kurtis Lee


They arrived -- by the hundreds, on foot, in party buses and Uber
rides -- at a strip mall marijuana dispensary, and the merchandise
started flying off the shelf: Snake Eyes OG, double chocolate chunk
brownie bites.

"What we're experiencing right here and now is history," Ross Goodman,
co-owner of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said early Saturday as he stood behind a
glass counter at the pot shop watching staff shuffle patrons in and
out. "This is the future and we're a part of ending

For Nevada, that future now allows anyone over the age of 21 to
legally purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana. On Saturday,
the state joined four others -- Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and
Washington -- that allow people to purchase cannabis for recreational

Voters in November overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to
legalize marijuana, as did three other states last year -- California,
Maine and Massachusetts -- though legal sales have not gone into
effect in those other states.

Although marijuana is now legal here, smoking pot in public spaces,
such as along Las Vegas Boulevard and in casinos or at festivals, is
illegal, carrying a potential $600 fine.

In Clark County -- where Las Vegas is -- more than two dozen
dispensaries have received permits from the state to sell recreational
marijuana. Even so, pot sales are not permitted throughout the county.
In February, officials in Henderson, Nev., the second most populous
city in the state, placed a six-month moratorium on legal sales.

Supporters of legal pot say the state is set to rake in hundreds of
millions of dollars in tax revenue -- perhaps outpacing other states
where legal sales have gone into effect -- with much of the money
rolling in from the nearly 45 million tourists who travel to Las Vegas
annually. Cash from a 15% cultivation tax and 10% sales tax will go
toward schools and the state's reserve fund.

Last year, Colorado brought in $200 million in tax revenue, while
Washington netted about $256 million.

Amanda Hill, 26, traveled to Las Vegas from her home in the suburbs of
Chicago for the Fourth of July weekend. She was among the first
customers at Las Vegas ReLeaf, a block from the Strip, early Saturday.

"Yummy," she said, taking a whiff of a Grape Valley Kush bud inside a
tiny glass container.

"It's really good stuff," said an employee, also know as a
"budtender," before showing Hill a different strain of pot.

Hill, who said she does not consume marijuana regularly, said
legalization is another reason to now visit Las Vegas.

"The shows, the gambling, the drinks and now legal pot," she said.
"Who wouldn't want to come visit?"
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt