LAS VEGAS — Recreational marijuana sales have exceeded the expectations of Las Vegas area store owners, who have seen long lines outside their dispensaries since Saturday, when Nevada became the fifth state with shops selling pot to the public.
That move jump-started a market projected to be fueled by the tens of millions of visitors that Sin City welcomes each year.
Eager pot customers on Monday again lined up before dispensaries opened their doors. Some were looking to make their first purchase since Saturday, and others were shopping for seconds. Tourists and locals alike have taken advantage of the change in state law.
“I’m a very happy with the way sales have gone and continue to go, especially when you consider that the word didn’t really get out ahead of time,” said Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association and a store owner. “The public really only had a couple of weeks’ notice, whereas Colorado had a full year to prepare.”
Nevada voters approved legalizing recreational pot in November, but regulations needed before the sales could start weren’t approved until the past two weeks. The state later this week will release a report regarding the unannounced enforcement inspections that were conducted Saturday at dispensaries across the state.
The demand for recreational marijuana has been such that dispensaries had to turn away customers in line over the weekend, and at least one extended its hours of operation. Dispensaries reported wait times of 45 minutes to an hour Saturday afternoon and up to 20 minutes Sunday.
The Euphoria Wellness dispensary had 50 people waiting to make purchases midmorning Monday. Its marketing coordinator, Jim Ferrence, said budtenders helped at least 1,000 customers during the first two days of legal recreational pot sales.