Nevada law is abundantly clear on where tourists or residents can smoke or ingest cannabis and law enforcement wants to make it clear to everyone that they are going to enforce the law. Nevada marijuana sales are already massive and considering Las Vegas’s reputation as Sin City, everyone seems very conscious of just how out-of-control cannabis enthusiasts could become if left unchecked.
Marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities experienced long lines as they launched recreational pot sales on July 1. Some shops opened their doors at midnight.
But it won’t be a free-for-all in the place where many tourists think anything goes. Police say they have been preparing for months to enforce the law, putting a focus on keeping stoned drivers off the road but also cracking down on those who light up under the neon lights.
Voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana in November. Nevada is marking the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales of any of the seven other states and the District of Columbia where pot is legal.
Here’s a look at what’s expected from legal marijuana:
Only in a private home, including yards and porches. While it may be legal to stroll down parts of the Las Vegas Strip with your favorite adult beverage, the same doesn’t apply to pot. It’s prohibited in casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, concerts and on U.S. property, from national forests to federally subsidized housing.
While anyone who is 21 with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates, using it in public can get lead to a $600 ticket for a first offense.
Industry experts predict Nevada’s market will be the nation’s biggest, at least until California plans to begin recreational sales in January.
Nevada sales should eventually exceed those in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state because of the more than 42 million tourists who annually visit Las Vegas. Regulators anticipate 63 percent of customers will be tourists.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like what Nevada is going to look like just because of the sheer volume of tourism in the state,” said Nancy Whiteman, co-owner of the Colorado-based Wana Brands, which makes edible pot products.
However, there’s not a lot of mainstream promotion. The law bans marijuana advertising on radio, TV or any other medium where 30 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be younger than 21.
State gambling regulators have directed casinos to abide by federal law, which outlaws the drug. That means tourists will have a hard time finding a place to use it legally despite being the biggest expected piece of the market.
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