Tag: Nevada

Here’s Where US Attorneys Stand on Cannabis Enforcement

Don’t expect Jeff Sessions’ undoing of the Cole memo to unleash a nationwide crackdown. By rescinding Justice Department guidelines that encouraged federal prosecutors to take a hands-off approach in legal states, the attorney general isn’t so much dropping bombs as he is encouraging his lieutenants to fire at will. It will be up to individual US attorneys to pull the trigger.

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In other words, a crackdown on state-legal cannabis, if it comes, will likely happen unevenly. District by district, US attorneys will decide for themselves how to enforce federal cannabis law—or whether to enforce it at all. This is exactly what we saw in California during the last major federal crackdown, in 2011 and 2012. US attorneys in some parts of the state tried to close every dispensary in their districts, while others allowed shops to operate unimpeded.

US attorneys are playing their cards very close to their chests.

In this new normal, it’s crucial to understand not just Sessions’ views, but also where each US attorney stands on cannabis. To that end, we’re tracking how US attorneys in legal states have responded to the removal of the Cole memo—and how likely they are to take action.

You’ll notice a common theme as you read through this piece: US attorneys are playing their cards very close to their chests. Most have issued murky statements that can be interpreted in a number of ways. We’ve done our best to parse the available information and add to those statements to get a better sense of the risk of prosecution in that district.

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Initially we’ll be looking at states that have legalized adult-use cannabis. This page will be updated to include more information about US attorneys in medical-only states.

Each state has at least one federal district. A US attorney acts as the chief federal prosecutor for his or her district. (Courtesy of the US Department of Justice)

Alaska

US Attorney Brian D. Schroder, a Trump appointee whom the Senate confirmed in November, isn’t giving us much to go on. He said in a statement shortly after Sessions’ announcement that his office would continue using “long-established principles” in deciding which cases to charge. He added that violent crime, including that which stems from drug crimes, has been a top priority. His office has declined to comment further.

Schroder’s statement—like his record on cannabis—is awfully thin. Aside from any violent incidents in the state system, which would almost certainly draw his attention, it’s not yet clear what action, if any, his office might take.

Prosecution Risk: UNKNOWN

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Alaska Authorities Vow to Fight Feds on Legal Cannabis

California

Central District (Los Angeles)

Interim US Attorney Nicola T. Hanna took his post last week, when Sessions appointed him and 16 others as interim US attorneys. So far both Hanna and his predecessor, Sandra Brown, have been mum on enforcement, which could be an ominous sign if the office weren’t in the midst of a transition. As it is, it doesn’t tell us much.

It’s worth noting that Hanna was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and San Diego during the 1990s, when the war on drugs was in full swing. He then left the office for private practice, taking a position at the international firm Gibson Dunn. He hasn’t said much on cannabis, but in the 2016 presidential election, records show he gave $2,700 to the campaign of Chris Christie—a notorious anti-cannabis crusader.

Complicating it all, Hanna’s gig is only temporary. As an interim US attorney, he can serve for 120 days until President Trump must appoint someone and seek Senate confirmation.

Prosecution Risk: LOW/MEDIUM

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Eastern District (Sacramento)

US Attorney Scott W. McGregor, a Trump appointee currently awaiting Senate confirmation, already held the position under President George W. Bush. While in office, he targeted large-scale cannabis operations and developed a reputation for seeking harsh sentences. As the Sacramento Bee reports, at the time he asked local authorities to refer cannabis cases to federal prosecutors. He also went after a pair of dispensary operators who were convicted in 2008 and each sentenced to 20 or more years in prison. (President Barack Obama granted one of the two men clemency in 2017. The other is still behind bars.)

Following Sessions’ memo, McGregor spokesperson Lauren Horwood said the office would evaluate possible enforcement actions “in accordance with our district’s federal law enforcement priorities and resources.” That’s pretty standard boilerplate and doesn’t tell us much, but McGregor’s enforcement history suggests he wouldn’t be shy about going after cannabis businesses if he feels they’re too far out of line.

“He used to be a hardcore, anti-cannabis drug warrior,” Sebastopol lawyer Omar Figueroa told the Sacramento Bee. “I hope he has evolved.”

Prosecution Risk: MEDIUM

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Northern District (San Francisco)

Acting US Attorney Alex G. Tse took over for former US Attorney Brian Stretch, who announced through a spokesperson on Jan. 4 that he would be leaving the post. It was the same day Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, though Stretch said the announcement was not the reason for his departure.

Despite their San Francisco office location, Northern District prosecutors have a reputation for interfering with California’s legal-cannabis system even when local officials push back. The office famously undertook—and famously lost—a multiyear case against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, perhaps the state’s best-known dispensary.

Tse, for his part, spent most of the 2011-12 federal crackdown in California working in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The experience likely gave him an understanding of the close working relationship between federal and local authorities—something that might give him pause before bringing cases against locally approved, state-licensed businesses.

Prosecution Risk: LOW

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Southern District (San Diego)

Interim US Attorney Adam L. Braverman was appointed by Jeff Sessions in November, though he’s been a federal prosecutor in the Southern District since 2008. His focus was large, international drug-trafficking cartels, and after being sworn in as US attorney last year, he said he wanted to prioritize “those crimes committed by transnational criminal organizations.”

On its face, that seems just fine. State-legal cannabis has shrunk the illegal market in the United States, and Braverman may rightly see prosecuting licensed businesses as a surefire way to reinvigorate cartels. But sometimes when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

More worrisome is Braverman’s statement following the Sessions memo: “The Department of Justice is committed to reducing violent crime and enforcing the laws as enacted by Congress. The cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana has long been and remains a violation of federal law,” he said. “We will continue to utilize long-established prosecutorial priorities to carry out our mission to combat violent crime, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations, and stem the rising tide of the drug crisis.”

If Braverman does his homework, he’ll see that legalization tends to accomplish those priorities. But if he views legal cannabis as part of the problem, watch out.

Prosecution Risk: MEDIUM

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 Colorado

(Courtesy of DOJ)

US Attorney Robert C. Troyer became an acting US attorney in 2016 and was appointed interim US attorney by Jeff Sessions in November. Asked by the Denver Post about the Sessions memo, Troyer’s office provided this response:

Here is the question we ask every time we consider allocating our finite resources to prosecute any of the vast number of federal crimes we can prosecute, from violent crime to immigration crime to opioid crime: Will this prosecution make Colorado safer? … Under the attorney general’s new memo, we have more freedom and flexibility to make decisions that make Colorado safer by prosecuting individuals and organizations for marijuana crimes that significantly threaten our community safety.

US attorneys often point to their own district’s unique needs when explaining their enforcement priorities, so this doesn’t tell us much—although it does suggest Troyer could take action in response to local officials who believe legal cannabis is a threat to public safety, as has happened in past crackdowns.

For now, Troyer said he would “continue to take” the approach his office has been using—suggesting not much will change in the short term. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman told the Post that she had asked Troyer to “please notify me … if there is going to be any change in those priorities or in those actions so that we have a heads-up. And I have his agreement that he will do that.”​ In the meantime, she said, “I would encourage people not to freak out.”

Prosecution Risk: LOW/MEDIUM

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Maine

(Courtesy of DOJ)

US Attorney Halsey B. Frank, a Trump nominee, was confirmed by the Senate in October. To his credit, he’s issued a lengthy statement on the Sessions move. Unfortunately, like most other US attorney statements so far, it doesn’t offer much in the way of clarity. “My job is to enforce federal law, not countermand it,” Frank said. “I do not have the authority to categorically declare that my office will not prosecute a class of crime or persons.”

Unlike some other US attorneys, Frank has spoken out publicly against legalized cannabis in the past. In a 2013 column in The Forecaster newspaper (published after the Cole memo), he wrote that when “there is a conflict between state and federal law, federal law prevails.” Maine’s state law, which at the time allowed medical use of cannabis, “is not a defense to federal prosecution for manufacturing or distributing marijuana,” he wrote.

Lest you think he was just opining on legal procedure, he also included this veiled jab at legalization: “Society can only tolerate a certain number of intoxicated people on its streets and highways, at school, at work and at play.” (You can read his full column here.)

One bright spot, especially for individuals: Frank’s recent statement notes that his office “has prioritized the prosecution of cases involving the trafficking of opiates, cocaine, crack and similar hard drugs.” Prosecuting individuals for possession, he said, “has not been a priority.”

Prosecution Risk: MEDIUM

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Massachusetts

US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, a Trump nominee, was confirmed by the Senate in December. In response to the Sessions memo, he issued a statement saying he could not “provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution.”

This is a straightforward rule of law issue.  Congress has unambiguously made it a federal crime to cultivate, distribute and/or possess marijuana.  As a law enforcement officer in the Executive Branch, it is my sworn responsibility to enforce that law, guided by the Principles of Federal Prosecution.  To do that, however, I must proceed on a case-by-case basis, assessing each matter according to those principles and deciding whether to use limited federal resources to pursue it.

This has the noncommittal air of some other US attorneys’ statements, but the tone is comparatively harsh. While it doesn’t signal a categorical crackdown on cannabis businesses, it certainly suggests the office could bring targeted actions against certain state-legal actors.

More worrisome is the relative lack of local pushback to Sessions rescinding the Cole memo. While officials in many other legal states have decried the move, Massachusetts elected officials, many of whom opposed the 2016 ballot question that legalized cannabis, have been relatively quiet.

Prosecution Risk: MEDIUM/HIGH

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Nevada

Interim US Attorney Dayle Elieson was one of 17 interim US attorneys appointed by Sessions last week. Before the appointment, she was an assistant US attorney in Texas, where she focused on fraud, money laundering, and terrorism. As a new arrival to Nevada, she’s a relatively unknown quantity, and Nevada officials are eagerly awaiting further guidance from the office.

“I know that the US attorney in Colorado has already said that he is not going to enforce federal laws against the legalized marijuana industry in that state,” Gov. Brian Sandoval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I would like to see something similar here in Nevada, but that’s a discussion that needs to be had.” (It’s worth noting that Sandoval may be overstating assurances by Colorado US Attorney Robert C. Troyer; see the Massachusetts section of this story, above.)

Nevada’s legal cannabis program has strong support from state and local officials, which could help dissuade Elieson from taking a hardline stance legal against legal cannabis while still new to the office. Federal prosecutors tend to work closely with local law enforcement and other partners, and targeting cannabis could risk hurting those relationships.

As an interim US attorney, Elieson’s post is only temporary. She’ll be able to serve for 120 days before Trump must nominate someone for the position and seek Senate confirmation.

Prosecution Risk: UNKNOWN

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Oregon

(Courtesy of DOJ)

US Attorney Billy J. Williams, who became an acting US attorney in 2015 and was nominated by Trump in November to remain in the post, has already expressed concerns with the state’s cannabis regulatory system. In an interview with the Associated Press last year, he complained about what he said was insufficient enforcement by the state to prevent cannabis from being illegally exported to states where it’s not legal. Stopping diversion to other states was a key piece of the now-rescinded Cole memo.

Following Sessions’ move last week, Williams put out the following statement:

As noted by Attorney General Sessions, today’s memo on marijuana enforcement directs all U.S. Attorneys to use the reasoned exercise of discretion when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana crimes. We will continue working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners to pursue shared public safety objectives, with an emphasis on stemming the overproduction of marijuana and the diversion of marijuana out of state, dismantling criminal organizations and thwarting violent crime in our communities.

It sounds like Williams might be OK with Oregon’s cannabis program when it works, but failures—including things like diversion, violence, or illegal sales to minors—could prompt him to take action. So he’s presumably not too pleased with reports like one issued this week by Oregon cannabis regulators that found a number of stores around the state that reportedly sold cannabis to minors.

Prosecution Risk: LOW/MEDIUM

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Washington, DC

US Attorney Jessie K. Liu, a Trump nominee whom the Senate confirmed in September, has said through a spokesperson that the office is “committed to reducing violent crime and dismantling criminal gangs and large-scale drug distribution networks that pose a threat to public safety.”

Washington, DC, is unusual in that it allows individuals to grow, possess, consume, and even give away cannabis but, due to pressure from federal lawmakers, forbids purchases or sales. The laws have led to the emergence of a thriving gray market in which consumers make “donations” or purchase other items and are “gifted” cannabis as part of the transaction. Liu may take a closer look at these businesses—they are, after all, operating in Jeff Sessions’ backyard—but it seems unlikely at this point that she’ll bring cases against individuals who follow the law.

Prosecution Risk: LOW/MEDIUM

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Washington State

Eastern District (Spokane)

Interim US Attorney Joseph Harrington was another of the 17 interim US attorneys appointed by Sessions last week. He’s a longtime federal prosecutor, with nearly three decades of experience handling the office’s criminal division, health care cases, and terrorism matters.

Harrington has said hardly anything about how Sessions’ move would affect his office’s cannabis enforcement. Immediately following the undoing of the Cole memo, he directed questions directly to the main Justice Department press office in Washington, DC. The Eastern District, nevertheless, has come to be seen as an aggressive enforcer by many in the state’s legal cannabis industry. The office sought criminal charges, for example, against a family of medical cannabis patients who became known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Harrington filed a motion in October to put that case on pause, noting that a federal spending provision—which had been adopted three years earlier and halted a blockbuster California case in May 2016—prevented the case from going forward. But that provision, the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment, is set to expire later this month, and it only blocks prosecutions against medical operations. Currently nothing stands in the way of Harrington bringing cases against the state’s many adult-use businesses.

Prosecution Risk: MEDIUM

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Western District (Seattle)

US Attorney Annette L. Hayes, who became acting US attorney in 2014 after her predecessor resigned, remained in the position after President Barack Obama declined to make an appointment. On the day Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, she issued this statement:

Today the Attorney General reiterated his confidence in the basic principles that guide the discretion of all U.S. Attorneys around the country, and directed that those principles shepherd enforcement of federal law regarding marijuana.  He also emphasized his belief that U.S. Attorneys are in the best position to address public safety in their districts, and address the crime control problems that are pressing in their communities.  Those principles have always been at the core of what the United States Attorney’s Office for Western Washington has done – across all threats to public safety, including those relating to marijuana.  As a result, we have investigated and prosecuted over many years cases involving organized crime, violent and gun threats, and financial crimes related to marijuana.  We will continue to do so to ensure – consistent with the most recent guidance from the Department – that our enforcement efforts with our federal, state, local and tribal partners focus on those who pose the greatest safety risk to the people and communities we serve.

This may be the most supportive statement of state-legal cannabis to come out of a US attorney’s office in the wake of Sessions’ announcement. Read between the lines. Hayes’ almost cheeky use of “reiterated” suggests little or nothing has changed in her eyes. Rather than read Sessions’ move as a sign the attorney general wants to see more cannabis cases—which, given Sessions’ views on cannabis, it almost certainly was—Hayes’ comments interpret the memo as an endorsement of local discretion. “Thanks for trusting us to do a good job,” the statement seems to say. It’s likely that wasn’t by accident.

Prosecution Risk: LOW

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Talk of Federal Cannabis Crackdown in Nevada Draws Partisan Reactions

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Democrats expressed outrage while Republicans took a wait-and-see approach Thursday after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for federal prosecutors to decide whether to pursue marijuana cases in their districts.

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State Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom, a Democrat and the dean of marijuana legislation in Nevada, worried the Trump administration reversal of the hands-off Obama-era policy would snuff out a budding business.

“We have hundreds of millions of dollars invested, tens of millions of dollars in taxes we’re anticipating that we’ve already budgeted, and thousands of employees making a good wage who will be affected,” Segerblom said. “If they intend to prosecute, it would shut us down.”

“It’s going to be up to the new U.S. attorney, but we don’t know what her position is on this yet.”

Riana Durrett , Nevada Dispensary Association executive

Adult-use cannabis became legal in July in Nevada, where the federal prosecutor’s office is now in transition.

The appointment of interim U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson was announced Wednesday. She has yet to arrive from her former job in Texas. She has not publicly said what her position will be on marijuana and did not immediately respond Thursday to messages.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, who faces a tough party primary this year, said Gov. Brian Sandoval and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, both Republicans, should meet with federal officials about the policy change.

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Sandoval is a moderate Republican and former federal judge who appointed Heller to the Senate in 2011 and talked with Sessions about marijuana policy last April.

The governor said he expects to meet with the new top prosecutor in Nevada after she arrives.

Sandoval calls Nevada’s marijuana industry a model for other states, while working within the guidelines of federal policies.

Medical marijuana became legal in Nevada in 2015, and recreational pot sales won voter approval in November 2016.

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Statewide, 62 medical and recreational pot dispensaries reaped more than $13 million in taxes in the first three months of operation, Nevada Dispensary Association executive Riana Durrett said. She tallied more than 6,700 industry jobs, with hourly wages averaging more than $19.

“We don’t know what this means,” Durrett said of Sessions’ comments. “It’s going to be up to the new U.S. attorney, but we don’t know what her position is on this yet.”

Laxalt, a Republican candidate for governor this fall, said his office was evaluating the ramifications for Nevada. He said he opposed legalization at the ballot box but his office defended the law against lawsuits once it passed.

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, derided as “hypocrisy” the policy change from a presidential administration that she accused of “trampling on the will of Nevadans and creating unnecessary confusion for our state.”

Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Nevada, Winter 2017

THE LEAFLY LIST: NEVADA

Winter 2017

The Leafly List ranks the top dispensaries and retail stores in each of the major North American cannabis markets every quarter. This region-specific version is designed to provide helpful, community-based information for cannabis consumers looking for the most relevant dispensaries in Nevada. It highlights the most talked-about locations in the state based on customer feedback metrics* and reviews of each location’s quality, service, and atmosphere. Check out the Leafly List FAQ for more information on how dispensaries are ranked.

The Leafly List is based on 100% objective customer feedback and data collected by Leafly. Businesses CANNOT pay for a spot on the list.

Las Vegas, NV

Essence Vegas - West <strong>medical</strong> <strong>marijuana</strong> dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada(Courtesy of Essence Vegas)

Essence Vegas’s West dispensary is hyper-focused on consumers’ health and happiness, and cultivates both through high-quality flower, dependable pricing, trustworthy budtender recommendations, and a professional environment.

Index: 95.28

What to Buy: Coconut Chocolate Macaroons from EGO

What People Are Saying:

“Fabulous location, friendly knowledgeable staff and awesome products. Karla has helped me several times and I love her enthusiasm and patience when helping me with new product. Highly recommend Essence West. 5 STARS⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️” —Trish88

2307 Las Vegas Blvd S.Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Essence)(Courtesy of Essence Vegas)

Essence Vegas’s conveniently located Strip dispensary is hyper-focused on consumers’ health and happiness, and cultivates both through high-quality flower, dependable pricing, trustworthy budtender recommendations, and a professional environment.

Index: 94.36

What to Buy: Critical Kush Vape Pen from KYND Cannabis

What People Are Saying:

“Wonderful staff. So friendly and welcoming. This was my first visit and they helped me get set up quickly with my out of state medical card. I had ordered several things online. They got my info, took me back, reviewed my order, and answered a few questions I’d had. My budtender was very knowledgeable and helpful. The entire process was so smooth and quick I bet I was in and out in less than ten minutes. Just and overall wonderful experience. I look forward to my next visit.” —Aubz311

2244 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Las Vegas ReLeaf)(Courtesy of Las Vegas ReLeaf)

Las Vegas ReLeaf was Sin City’s first medical cannabis dispensary, and the team’s experience is evidenced through a high degree of both knowledge and professionalism. The dispensary itself is one of the city’s most stylish, with plants, paintings, colorful furniture, and soothing lighting.

Index: 92.16

What to BuyDopium Pre-Rolls from Remedy

What People Are Saying:

“I have been a patient here at this location for months and I am always treated like royalty! Staff is very knowledgeable about strains and my medical needs. Laura is the “weed Queen” and Eric and is wonderful in the lobby checking in patients and the hundreds of recreational customers.” —camaymcclure

4240 W. Flamingo Rd. #100 Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of The Apothecary Shoppe)(Courtesy of The Apothecary Shoppe)

The Apothecary Shoppe was founded by doctors and is rooted in an intimate understanding of cannabis chemistry. Through the dispensary, which offers private parlors for one-on-one patient consultations and features an unusually elegant interior design, the team dedicates itself to furthering the evolution of a positive, progressive cannabis culture throughout Nevada.

Index: 91.8

What People Are Saying:

“This place is great! There’s a million shops in Vegas, but the Apothecary Shoppe stands out above the rest with their selection, service and specials. The president, Dr Nick, is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. His entire staff downstairs is super friendly and helpful. They have a huge variety of products from edibles to oils to flowers, glass pieces…. I could go on and on. Please check this place out! It’s right across from the Palms. Side note: if you happen to be a sports bettor, they’ll give you a 10% discount just for showing them any sports ticket that you made that day.” —wu1879

Las Vegas, NV

The Apothecarium Las Vegas Nevada <a href=Medical Marijuana Dispensary — Leafly List Spring 2017" width="840" height="525" />(Courtesy of The Apothecarium)

The Apothecarium on West Sahara doesn’t feel like a typical dispensary, and that’s because it isn’t. Roomy, well-lit, and tastefully decorated, this Vegas dispensary feels more like an old-school jewelry store or bank than a place to buy cannabis. Once visitors get over how pretty it is, they’re pleasantly impressed by the attentive budtenders, large selection, and competitive prices.

Index: 91.4

Also Featured In: The 24 Best Dispensaries to Visit With Your Mom

What People Are Saying:

“I’ve been coming to this location since I’ve moved to the area a few months ago and EACH and EVERY time I go, the customer service is absolutely amazing. Very friendly and helpful staff! Very upbeat and welcoming environment. I proudly tell all of my friends and family to visit this location!” —Bnel215

Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of NuWu)

Located just a few blocks from the Fremont Street Experience, this Vegas dispensary is easy to get to on foot, but offers a drive-thru experience for those who don’t want to get out of their cars. Visitors who choose to check out the interior are sure to be pleased with the open-air feel, enormous selection, and team of helpful budtenders who are skilled at recommending products based on desired effect.

Index: 90.2

What People Are Saying:

“First visit today and I’m impressed! Staff was super friendly, product is fresh and most of all the prices were awesome! Wide selection. I do believe this is my new place to do business.” —mskathy2017

Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of The Source)

From the moment they open the door, patients are immediately impressed by The Source’s clean, inviting atmosphere. Once inside, they’re equally impressed by the great selection, hot deals, and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Plus, first time patients are allowed to choose a New Patient special that works best for them!

Index: 89.32

What People Are Saying:

“There’s always a welcoming atmosphere at the Henderson location and they treat the regulars like family. Such a dedicated staff at this location, even took the time to go through the terpine tests for a number of their products. I appreciate their kindness and willingness to always give the best and comfortable experience for everyone.” —anylangley002

Reno, NV

(Courtesy of Sierra Wellness)

Walking into this Reno dispensary feels a little bit like walking into a trendy, well-appointed coffee shop. Warm wood tones mingle with clean, enticing displays of hand-harvested, locally grown cannabis. The staff at Sierra Wellness Center are trained to truly listen to patients in order to truly understand their needs before making recommendations, resulting in a personalized, tailored cannabis experience for each and every patient that walks in.

Index: 88.76

What People Are Saying:

“This dispensary and it’s well qualified staff make this experience more valuable than I ever could have imagined. They are polite, knowledgeable, patient and just plain out cool. Thanks Sierra Wellness!” —grammielovesmalakai

Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Euphoria Wellness)

Many customers discover their favorite strains at Euphoria Wellness, which is a testament to this Vegas dispensary’s commitment to personalized service. Leafly reviewers appreciate their large selection of concentrates, CBD-dominant strains, and edibles, as well as more ‘traditional’ THC-dominant strains.

Index: 88.32

What People Are Saying:

“Euphoria wellness is by far the most helpful dispensary. Especially Doug! Every time my wife and I go in he is there with a smile and a willingness to educate! Thank you Doug for making my Mother’s first dispensary visit one to remember” —ducksxfan2007

Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Acres Cannabis)

It seems like everything is bigger in Vegas, and Acres Cannabis is no exception, This 20,000 square-foot dispensary is also home to a cannabis museum and full-scale edible production kitchen, giving interested consumers a firsthand look at what goes on in cannabis’s seed-to-sale life cycle.

Index: 88.08

What People Are Saying:

“Man, this dispensary is awesome! From the moment I walked in I felt really comfortable as I was greeted by Grace at the front desk and then got help from the floor manager, Kiki, who went out of his way to explain many of the questions that I threw at him. Before leaving I was shown a new addition to the facility by the general manager, Nick, who was clearly super busy, but was very excited to share with me where they will be having an open kitchen. How cool is that!?! They are allowing the public to view their expert chefs whip up delicious cannabis goodies. TOO COOL!” —Kanoa

Previous Nevada Leafly Lists

The Leafly List in Other Regions

Lead image by Skyhobo/iStock

Don’t see your favorite dispensary on the list? Make sure you follow, rate, and review your favorite cannabis locations to let the world know where to find the best cannabis products, service, and atmosphere.

Want to see your business on the Leafly List?

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*The Winter 2017 Leafly List uses customer service metrics from the three months prior to its month of publication.

** Essence Vegas – Henderson (89.04) withheld due to franchise limitations.

One Strain Five Ways: Sour Diesel in Nevada

It’s always exciting to watch new states come online with signature adult-use cannabis products, and Nevada has been no exception. Below, meet a few of the hottest additions to the market, including a Super Sour Diesel, a jazzy citrus-flavored cartridge, a cured Sour Diesel resin, a terpene blend, and a sassy Sour D tee.

Note: Prices may vary by retailer.

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(Courtesy of Matrix)

This combo of Sour Diesel and Super Silver Haze makes for an ultra-powerful sativa that melts stress, boosts euphoria, and tastes good doing it. Frosty buds with orange-tinted hairs make this a beauty to look at, too.

Price: $17/gram

Notes: Dominant terpenes include limonene, terpinene, and caryophyllene.

When to use it: When standard Sour Diesel just isn’t enough.

(Courtesy of Mezz)

Named for jazz legend and famed cannabis consumer Mezz Mezzrow, this flavorful cartridge—filled with Sour Diesel distillate and a hint of lemon-lime flavor—is triple tested for purity and inspires a burst of creativity that would have made its musician namesake proud.

Price: $35

Notes: Goes perfectly with one of the brand’s car key batteries.

When to use it: On the down-low when you’re on the go.

(Courtesy of Terpene Botanicals)

These undiluted terps are blended to match the specific profile of Sour Diesel itself, and pair with any pure cannabis concentrate to provide flavor and effects akin to the namesake strain.

Price: $20

Notes: Available across the US.

When to use it: With your favorite concentrate for a flavorful dab.

(Courtesy of Moxie)

With higher-than-average levels of caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene, this cured resin packs plenty of Sour Diesel-derived flavor and gets high ratings from Leafly reviewers. A dab will bring on a dreamy cerebral state characteristic of the strain in all its forms.

Price: $35

Notes: 385mg THCA; 87mg CBDA.

When to use it: Before (and after) an evening at the movies. 

(Courtesy of KushGrove)

A self-proclaimed “expressions brand for city stoners,” this made-in-the-USA shirt will take you anywhere from dispensary stops to the Las Vegas Strip in style (just don’t try to wear it into the fancy clubs).

Price: $30

Notes: 100% cotton.

When to use it: Heading to pick up the strain of the same name at a nearby dispensary.

Nevada’s Second Largest City to Begin Cannabis Sales This Week

Las Vegas’s most populous suburb will allow the sales of adult-use cannabis beginning Friday, following a vote by the Henderson City Council on Tuesday to approve the applications of five adult-use marijuana dispensaries.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, the five dispensaries will be able to begin selling recreational cannabis legally. The development comes three months after the state began allowing adult-use cannabis sales, after considerable back-and-forth between city officials and cannabis advocates.

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The five dispensaries awarded licenses were The Source, Essence Cannabis Dispensary, Nevada Medical Marijuana, Jenny’s Dispensary, and The Dispensary.

Henderson, located about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas, is Nevada’s second largest city, with a population of just under 300,000.

On Jan. 1 of this year, Nevada legalized up to one ounce of cannabis flower or up to an eighth of an ounce of THC concentrates by adults over 21 following the passage of Ballot Question 2 in November’s election.

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Legal sales kicked off in the state on July 1, but Henderson enacted a six-month moratorium back in February that was set to expire in August. It was then extended through last month.

As a condition of approving the local licenses, the Las Vegas Sun reports, City Councilman Dan Shaw requested that the five approved dispensaries secure banking services within the next six months so its easier for the city to track and receive tax payments.

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Nevada Starts Strong With $27 Million in First Month Sales

Look out, Washington and Colorado: There may be a new American cannabis king. New data released by the Nevada Department of Taxation indicates that Nevada more than doubled both Colorado and Washington’s first month of adult-use cannabis sales.

Nevada recorded just over $27 million in cannabis sales in July, the state’s first month of business, which generated $3.68 million in tax revenue.

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The Department of Taxation also reported that license and application fees paid by cannabis businesses have, to date, generated $6.5 million in state revenue.

That revenue, along with a 15% excise tax on wholesale cannabis sales, goes to public schools, after administrative costs are taken out.

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The state also realized $2.71 million from a 10% retail cannabis tax. That revenue goes into a “rainy day fund” which is expected to generate around $63.5 million in the next two years.

Washington State’s first month and a half of cannabis sales totaled just under $3.5 million dollars, due to restricted supply. The state didn’t hit at least $27 million in a single month until the 10th month of recreational cannabis sales.

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Colorado recorded $14,368,620 in its first month of adult-use cannabis sales back in January 2014.

Las Vegas Cannabis Lab Suspended

Sometimes it’s not good to be first, and for G3 Labs LLC in Las Vegas, they certainly shouldn’t be happy with being the first cannabis industry company to get its license suspended in Nevada, just over two months after adult-use cannabis sales began.

As first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Nevada Department of Taxation suspended the license of G3 Labs at 3220 Procyon St., on Aug. 24.

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Taxation Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein told the Review-Journal that the remaining cannabis at the lab was tested and no products will need to be recalled. Klapstein didn’t go into further detail about why the lab was suspended.

“Based on all the information we’ve gathered through the investigation, we’re working with the licensee to address the issues and get them back into compliance,” Klapstein told the Review-Journal.

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She added that G3 Labs can get its license back as long as it fixes the current issues that led to the suspension.

In Nevada, state law requires cannabis companies to have samples of their products tested by licensed independent laboratories.

Labs screen for anything from toxic metals, fungi and pesticides, as well as potency of each product. In Nevada, labs test for different things in different cannabis products. Here is what they test for in cannabis flower, concentrates, and edibles:

Usable marijuana          

  • Moisture content
  • Potency analysis
  • Terpene analysis
  • Foreign matter inspection
  • Microbial screening
  • Mycotoxin screening
  • Heavy metal screening
  • Pesticide residue analysis

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Extract of marijuana (solvent-based) made with a CO2 extractor

  • Potency analysis
  • Terpene analysis
  • Microbial screening

Extract of marijuana (solvent-based) made using n-butane, isobutane, propane, heptane, or other solvents or gases approved by the Division of at least 99 percent purity 

  • Potency analysis
  • Terpene analysis
  • Residual solvent test
  • Microbial screening

Edible and liquid marijuana-infused product

  • Potency analysis
  • Terpene analysis
  • Microbial screening

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Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Nevada, Fall 2017

THE LEAFLY LIST: NEVADA

Fall 2017

The Leafly List ranks the top dispensaries and retail stores in each of the major North American cannabis markets every quarter. This region-specific version is designed to provide helpful, community-based information for cannabis consumers looking for the most relevant dispensaries in Nevada. It highlights the most talked-about locations in the state based on customer feedback metrics* and reviews of each location’s quality, service, and atmosphere. Check out the Leafly List FAQ for more information on how dispensaries are ranked.

The Leafly List is based on 100% objective customer feedback and data collected by Leafly. Businesses CANNOT pay for a spot on the list.

5765 W. Tropicana Las Vegas, NV

Essence Vegas - West <strong>medical</strong> <strong>marijuana</strong> dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada(Courtesy of Essence Vegas)

Essence Vegas’s West dispensary is hyper-focused on consumers’ health and happiness, and cultivates both through high-quality flower, dependable pricing, trustworthy budtender recommendations, and a professional environment.

Index: 95.44

What to Buy: Toasted Rooster chocolate bar from Dixie Elixirs

What People Are Saying:

“I really can’t describe how dope this place is. Felt right at home. Love everyone at this location and Essence dispensaries in general.” —dannytru93

2307 Las Vegas Blvd S.Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Essence)(Courtesy of Essence Vegas)

Essence Vegas’s conveniently located Strip dispensary is hyper-focused on consumers’ health and happiness, and cultivates both through high-quality flower, dependable pricing, trustworthy budtender recommendations, and a professional environment.

Index: 94.64

What to Buy: Chernobyl Distillate Syringe from Lucid Oils

What People Are Saying:

“This dispensary is always clean, and quick paced. They always have a wide variety of products, and the staff is extremely knowledge, professional, and courteous with every transaction​. Roger was very helpful the other day when I needed help withy vape. And he suggested a new type of crumble I hadn’t tried. I will definitely be going back to this dispensary. Thanks for another great experience Essence!” —Pooterdooder

Las Vegas, NV

The Apothecarium Las Vegas Nevada <strong><a href=Medical Marijuana Dispensary — Leafly List Spring 2017" width="840" height="525" />(Courtesy of The Apothecarium)

The Apothecarium on West Sahara doesn’t feel like a typical dispensary, and that’s because it isn’t. Roomy, well-lit, and tastefully decorated, this Vegas dispensary feels more like an old-school jewelry store or bank than a place to buy cannabis. Once visitors get over how pretty it is, they’re pleasantly impressed by the attentive budtenders, large selection, and competitive prices.

Index: 93.2

What to Buy: Madman OG from State Flower

Also Featured In: The 24 Best Dispensaries to Visit With Your Mom

What People Are Saying:

“I’ve commented on how good this dispensary is before and I want to do it again! My wife and I had a problem with something purchased form the store and taken care of immediately. Everyone was super nice and accommodating and honestly I know there are other dispensaries in Las Vegas but I truly don’t care the Apothecarium is definitely the place to be!” —Vinnysauwce

4240 W. Flamingo Rd. #100 Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of The Apothecary Shoppe)(Courtesy of The Apothecary Shoppe)

The Apothecary Shoppe was founded by doctors and is rooted in an intimate understanding of cannabis chemistry. Through the dispensary, which offers private parlors for one-on-one patient consultations and features an unusually elegant interior design, the team dedicates itself to furthering the evolution of a positive, progressive cannabis culture throughout Nevada.

Index: 91.16

What People Are Saying:

“Great location. Everyones so knowledgeable and friendly they helped me right away. Most dispensaries I go into it’s just kind of trying to push you out this one actually takes the time to get to know you a little bit. Thank you guys for always providing the best service and staff!!!” —Limonene33

2244 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Las Vegas ReLeaf)(Courtesy of Las Vegas ReLeaf)

Las Vegas ReLeaf was Sin City’s first medical cannabis dispensary, and the team’s experience is evidenced through a high degree of both knowledge and professionalism. The dispensary itself is one of the city’s most stylish, with plants, paintings, colorful furniture, and soothing lighting.

Index: 90.48

What People Are Saying:

“I’ve been coming to Releaf since 7/01/2017. When I first walked through the first door we were greeted by Security, which was pleasant to see because it made me feel safe. Second door we were greeted again by Lounge Attendants they were very friendly and answered any concerns I had. When you look to the right on the wall is a flat screen tv that shows a menu of all different kinds of strains, in different forms the potency level and prices. I also love the fact the waiting room has a comfortable, stylish couch to sit on rather than just standing in line. Finally, when you enter the show room staff are all smiles, dressed professional, fresh atmosphere, and knowledgeable about all the different products.” —Highlight2017

Las Vegas, NV

Jardin Dispensary Nevada Leafly List(Courtesy of Jardin)

Patients are impressed by Jardín’s clean and modern ambiance, friendly staff, and impressive inventory. If their large selection of high-quality products isn’t enough to draw you in, their generous first-time patient specials surely will. Jardín rewards its regular patients with a VIP program that offers great deals for repeat customers.

Index: 90.2

What People Are Saying:

“I’ve been to a few dispensaries around down but none compare to Jardin. The place is spotless clean and the staff is friendly and helpful. They have a good variety of strains and no wait time. Truly enjoyed my experience and the product 👌🏽” —Jquezada88

2520 South Maryland Parkway #2 Las Vegas, NV

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A cannabis dispensary that holds its cultivators and producers to the highest standards naturally offers the highest quality products to its patients. Inyo Fine Cannabis adheres to this code of conduct and passes on the benefits of its scrutiny and rigor to its patients in the form of the most excellent craft cannabis available.

Index: 90.12

What People Are Saying:

“Inyo, Inyo, Inyo. What can I say other than superb. Great service, great prices, excellent budtenders that are honest. My go to favorite spot. Deals and selections can be beat!!! A+100” —Dwscoob1

4850 W. Sunset Rd. STE 130 Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Medizin)(Courtesy of Medizin)

Medizin puts their customers first, with a wide variety of strains and a staff of knowledgeable and friendly care specialists to welcome patients with any medical needs. New visitors to Medizin love that they receive a 20% discount on their first visit.

Index: 89.44

What People Are Saying:

“I LOVE Medizin!!! Awesome deals and staff. Picked up the new Matrix Pax vape pen and it’s awesome! Always helpful in knowing what I may want and like and never pushy. Such a comfortable environment and lots to choose from.” —jakesmom69

3400 Western Ave Las Vegas, NV

(Courtesy of Reef)(Courtesy of Reef)

Reef’s Las Vegas location is an open, inviting dispensary with modern décor and a friendly, feel-good atmosphere. A rotating selection of featured strains and a knowledgeable staff keep consumers coming back for more.

Index: 89.08

What People Are Saying:

“Exactly what you’re looking for. They have everything you need across the board and regardless if you’re a recreational user or medical, the process of getting through the doors is very quick and organized. Budtenders are very friendly and come off as wanting to help/answer your questions, as opposed to you inconveniencing them. Very impressed.” —Bluejay517

Carson City, NV

(Courtesy of Rise)(Courtesy of Rise)

Reviewers are quick to praise the good vibes and welcoming atmosphere at this Carson City dispensary. Those looking to find cannabis in a friendly and low-pressure environment will love RISE, which has something for everyone—from popular strains with household names to hard-to-find varieties.

Index: 88.08

What People Are Saying:

“I’ve been going to rise since it first open and honestly it one of the best shops we have in town, i love the vibe and energy in the shop! they ALWAYS brighten up the worse of days because they treat you like a fellow patient and you just feel more [at home] in the shop. i highly suggest going in to talk to a bud tender to find the strain best fit for you” —bjahmin

Previous Nevada Leafly Lists

The Leafly List in Other Regions

Don’t see your favorite dispensary on the list? Make sure you follow, rate, and review your favorite cannabis locations to let the world know where to find the best cannabis products, service, and atmosphere.

Want to see your business on the Leafly List?

Get Listed On Leafly

*The Fall 2017 Leafly List uses customer service metrics from the three months prior to its month of publication.

** Essence Vegas – Henderson (89.68) withheld due to franchise limitations.

Nevada Governor Concerned About Cannabis Cafes

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval is raising concerns about a new opinion by lawyers for the state legislature that says nothing in state law prohibits local governments from allowing marijuana consumption in businesses such as cannabis lounges and cafes.

“I did not support them previously,” Sandoval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday. “I don’t support them now.”

Sandoval said in an email to the Reno Gazette-Journal he’s concerned that such establishments could pop up “piecemeal throughout the state” with different rules and regulatory structures.

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He also questions why Sen. Tick Segerblom proposed legislation this spring to legalize consumption in some public places if the legal authority already existed.

That measure failed to pass last session. But Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said Monday the new opinion by the Legislative Counsel Bureau should help clear the way for county commissions and city councils to approve legal cannabis consumption at places including special events.

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak says the commission will discuss the issue at next week’s meeting.

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Adults in Nevada 21 years and older have been able to legally buy recreational marijuana since July 1.

Sandoval, a Republican former federal judge, initially opposed legalization of recreational marijuana voters approved last November but said he accepted the will of the people and pushed an early-sale program that began in July instead of waiting six months later as scheduled to expedite collection of revenue from state cannabis taxes.

Sandoval said he’s worried legalization of cannabis lounges might invite more federal scrutiny of Nevada’s marijuana sales. He said he has not read the bureau’s opinion, but he would like the attorney general’s office to weigh in on the matter. He said an opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau “doesn’t have any precedential value.”

Cannabis Lounges Looking More Likely in Las Vegas

Nevada is moving forward on consumption lounges after a letter from its legislative council bureau to State Sen. Tick Segerblom last weekend said such businesses would not violate state law.

A new legal opinion says consumption at lounges, festivals, concerts, and one-off events would be allowed under state law.

The letter, dated Sept. 10, also claims that one-off events, like festivals and concerts, where the plant is consumed should also be allowed.

“It is the opinion of this office that a business may establish and operate a lounge or other facility or special event at which patrons of the business are allowed to use marijuana in compliance of state law,” Legislative Council Brenda Erdoes wrote to Segerblom.

Ballot Question 2, the adult-use legalization measure passed by voters last November, allows for the possession and consumption of up to one ounce of marijuana flower or up to one-eighth the equivalent of THC concentrates and edibles by adults in Nevada. But language in the law is generally unclear on consumption regulations outside of a private residence. So state lawmakers questioned its reach.

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Earlier Clarification Effort Failed

Segerblom’s Senate Bill 236, introduced during the past sessions of the Nevada State Legislature, aimed to provide a framework for local jurisdictions wanting to license marijuana lounge operations. The bill passed the Senate but died in the House after facing resistance from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. Sandoval argued that such lounges go beyond what’s allowed by the US Department of Justice’s 2013 Cole Memorandum and put Nevada at “greater risk” of an enforcement crackdown by the Justice Department.

Segerblom said Sunday’s legislative council opinion confirms that SB236 was not necessary.

“Now it’s up to county commissions and city councils across the state,” he said. “They can license these businesses if they want to.”

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Gov. Sandoval Disagrees

Speaking Tuesday, the Nevada governor said he objected to Erdoes’ opinion and called on Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office to advise the Nevada Department of Taxation about how to statutorily prevent such lounges.

Laxalt’s spokewoman Monica Moazez referred all questions to the Nevada Department of Taxation, whose spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein did not respond to multiple calls and emails for comment on Monday and Tuesday.

While cannabis industry representatives in Nevada celebrated news of the legislative council’s opinion, they described feelings of “cautious optimism” toward local licensing process, which could take months to complete before the first Las Vegas marijuana lounge opens its doors.

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Dispensaries Moving Carefully

“I would like to see a cautious approach,” said Nevada Dispensary Association President Andrew Jolley, whose advocacy organization represents 55 of 60 licensed dispensaries across the state. “This is a huge step in the right direction, but we recognize it can be a thorny issue and may not be solved overnight.”

Over 43 million tourists descended on Las Vegas last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Segerblom has billed the new industry as “Amsterdam on steroids” in one of the world’s most popular visitor destinations. But Nevada law doesn’t explicitly give tourists anywhere to use the plant besides a private residence. That means hotels, public parks and casinos are all off-limits.

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Armen Yemenidjian, owner of Essence Cannabis Dispensary, said his roughly 500 daily tourist shoppers would benefit from having an adjacent lounge to the dispensary where they can use the product.

“At this point, I don’t see why not,” Yemenidjian said. “No one to date has been able to answer the question where these tourists should consume and where they can go to try out these products that are now legal.”

Jolley predicted the lounges would also attract a sizeable amount of local residents looking for education on “how to use the product responsibly.” Local recreational cannabis buyers make up 80 percent of the clientele at Jolley’s Las Vegas dispensary, located five miles west of the Strip.

Go Ahead and Buy, Just Don’t Consume

Leading officials in Clark County, which includes the Strip among other popular tourist areas in the Las Vegas Valley, expressed willingness to explore opportunities with the lounges after reading Sunday’s opinion letter.

‘People are purchasing product they can’t consume anywhere, and we’ve got to address this situation.’

Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chairman

County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak added an agenda item on marijuana lounges to the commission’s next scheduled meeting on Sep. 19, and said it will likely be developed over the span of the next three meetings, which take place every two weeks. The county’s Green Ribbon Panel, which includes Jolley and Yemenidjian, will also provide recommendations to the county commission after an Oct. 4 panel meeting.

Sisolak said the marijuana laws, as currently interpreted, leave county visitors “in the lurch.”

“I’m very sympathetic to these people because they have no place to go to,” Sisolak said. “They’re purchasing product they can’t use anywhere and we’ve got to address this situation.”

While Sisolak wouldn’t provide a timetable for possible opening dates, Jolley and Yemenidjian were more optimistic. If all goes according to plan, the two Las Vegas dispensary owners said they’re ready to launch their own cannabis lounges as early as next month.

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