Las Vegas and Cannabis: What to Expect from the Strip

recreational cannabis in Las Vegas“Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire. Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn. So get those stakes up higher!” Ah, Las Vegas – the city of lights has now become the city of lighting up. The citizens of Nevada voted to legalize recreational weed last November. But what does this mean for the state? And for the tourists? Next time you hop on over for a weekend, what can you expect?

Las Vegas Dispensaries Open July 1st, 2017

Once state dispensaries open, people over 21 will be able to buy pot the same way they buy alcohol (sort of). They’ll walk into a dispensary and show their ID. They may be asked to show it again upon purchase.

Different from buying booze, however, is that weed must be purchased in cash

Banks don’t like to work with marijuana businesses because of the Feds. Still, not every dispensary abides by this rule (not in Colorado, at least). Some get creative with their accounting and accept credit cards on rare occasions, making Visa everywhere you want to weed. They’re not supposed to, however, and the dispensaries in Nevada will likely follow all the rules to a tee in the beginning if not longer.

Buying Cannabis on the Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is the apex of “sin” – it’s filled with casinos, liquor stores, and adult-themed stores. But it hasn’t proven all that warm to weed. According to the LA Times, the first medical dispensary didn’t open on the strip until 2016 – Essence Cannabis Dispensary, located between the SLS Las Vegas and the Stratosphere. It didn’t open until last year, despite Nevada legalizing medicinal marijuana nearly two decades early – recreational cannabis in las vegasthe state passed the measure back in 2000.

Recreational weed is set to receive a similar reception, making it difficult for people to walk out of the MGM into the arms of THC. Per CNN, Steve Sisolak, the Chairman of the Clark County Commission, was quoted as saying,

“I don’t think in the foreseeable future you are going to see the retail sales of any cannabis product on the Las Vegas Strip.”

This is because Sin City is under the umbrella of very specific rules. And this isn’t limited to Mary Jane.

Strip clubs, for example, aren’t allowed on the Vegas Strip, either (ironic, given its names). They’re advertised aggressively – every tourist has an unwanted collection of those flipper cards somewhere – but they don’t actually exist on the street. Marijuana is poised to face a similar fate.

What this means for tourists is simple: bring transportation money. You won’t be able to walk into a dispensary if you’re staying where all the action is. But, it’s okay: that’s what cabs are for. We’ve made it a little easier by creating a list of dispensaries closest to the Las Vegas Strip.

Consuming Marijuana on the Las Vegas Strip 

Nevada’s regulations will address marijuana use in pubic: simply, it’ll be forbidden. This may seem surprising to some, especially since residents and citizens could do a keg stand in the middle of Tropicana Avenue if they wanted. But it’s par for the course and similar to the laws of other states that have legalized.

In Las Vegas, people will not be able to walk around with a joint or sit in Mandalay Bay with a bowl

This isn’t limited to the Strip, either: you won’t be able to go into the Golden Nugget carrying golden nuggets of your own. But this really applies to the act of smoking, since that’s an act that’s hard to hide. You can take tinctures or edibles inside a Bally’s bathroom stall and no one would ever know (until you get high enough to tell them). It’s technically still illegal, but there’s no way to enforce the law.

Even so, if you do get caught – your edibles fall out of your pocket in front of floor security, for instance – you might be escorted off the premises. Casinos and bars risk their gaming and liquor licenses by allowing weed through their doors and likely won’t look kindly on someone recreational cannabis in las vegascompromising their legitimacy.

You can consume weed in a private residence and then go gambling, of course. Whether or not this is a good idea is up to you. Marijuana, at least the more potent strains, probably doesn’t mix with gambling, but neither does booze, something Vegas certain advocates.

So, if you’re going to game while high, be prepared for extra losses. It might not affect your play at all or it might a lot. Or it might do nothing other than reduce your attention span: if you start doubling down on hard seventeens, take a break. But, remember, weed is now legal…..those buffet lines are going to be longer than ever before.

Jenn Keeler

About the author: Jenn Keeler is a freelance writer and illustrator specializing in humorous lifestyle articles. She is one of the few people on earth actually using an English degree. Her heart belongs to the Denver Broncos and her husband. In that order.