July 1st marked the start of legal recreational marijuana sales in Nevada, making it the eighth state in America to allow public purchase in dispensaries. Nevada’s law allows adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana (or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles) and was approved by voters back in November. Due to both federal marijuana and state casino laws, dispensaries cannot be located on the Las Vegas Strip, however, so don’t try to light up before seeing Britney or the Backstreet Boys or J.Lo. And, while possession of a small amount of pot is legal, consumption is exclusively limited to homes. Anybody caught using the substance in public–say, a casino, restaurant or strip club–will be slapped with a fine of $600. So, if you want some weed on your Vegas vacation, you’re going to have to venture off the beaten path and then crash someone’s house party.
The legalization was marked by long-ass lines at all of the almost 50 licensed dispensaries. Hundreds of people stood for hours to make their first legal pot purchases, including State Senator Tick Segerblom, cited as the “godfather of the [Nevada’s] marijuana movement.“ "Every time you buy something here, 33 cents is going to taxes. This is the most heavily taxed and regulated industry in the whole state,” Segerblom told local news station KSNV. To say marijuana legalization will profitable is an understatement: the plant is expected to generate some $60 million in tax revenue over the next two years alone.
The same night as statewide legalization, a Nevada-based couple marked the occasion by getting married in a marijuana greenhouse, which, we imagine, will soon become as ubiquitous a trend in wedding planning as Snapchat filters and couple-specific hashtags. Anna, the bride, appropriately carried a bouquet of weed leaves down the aisle, while groom Mark Balfe-Taylor replaced his pocket square with a sizeable bud. Anna admits she wasn’t keen when Mark mentioned the idea, but eventually supported it when she better understood what it meant to her husband. Mark’s father was once imprisoned because of a marijuana-related offense, so the issue had always been personal.
Considering that Taco Bell, a stranger venue by any defintion, just held its first wedding in June, a weed-themed ceremony doesn’t seem that unconventional, especially when you consider how many people wed at wineries and breweries these days. Perhaps more important, greenhouse weddings just goes to show the growing social acceptance of marijuana, even if it’s still prohibited on the federal level.
If you’re headed to Vegas this summer, one, check out Playboy Fridays at TAO Beach. Second, a fair warning about getting weed once you’re there: less than two weeks later, stores are already running out of pot, according to the state’s Department of Taxation. (By the way, this is also an issue for Canada.) On Friday, the government desperately endorsed a call for a “statement of emergency,” which would allow for more licensed distributors to help meet the overwhelming demand.
What’s interesting about Nevada’s law is that it’s the only state that has granted alcohol wholesalers exclusive rights to move marijuana to retailers. As Business Insider wrote, the rule aims to “promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol” while appeasing liquor stores concerned with losing business to pot sales.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Department of Taxation had issued zero licenses to alcohol wholesalers due to a complicated mix of incomplete application and zoning issues. A statement of emergency could be the solution as it would allow the department to issue licenses to a more applicants. The Nevada Tax Commission is expected to vote on the regulation Thursday.