Sales of recreational marijuana kick off in Nevada on Saturday, July 1, and the state is expecting on onslaught of tourists coming to sample the local merchandise.
But visitors might have tough times finding the drug in stores.
Anyone who is 21 and over with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot (or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates) from one of several medical marijuana dispensaries that have been approved for recreational sales.
State regulators have issued the licenses necessary to 17 retail outlets in Las Vegas — as of June 27 — and may approve as many as 40 dispensaries by Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
In a legal snafu, those stores may sell the marijuana they have in stock for recreational use, but may not resupply their inventory and sell the new stuff to non-medical users. Their stock may run out as early as August, leaving recreational users without a place to buy their legal bud.
Alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to move recreational marijuana from growers to retailers in Nevada, as part of a temporary court order that was extended by a Carson City district judge in June. Nevada intends to appeal the order, so that the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries can obtain pot distribution licenses, according to the Associated Press.
Nevada is the only state with legalised marijuana that has such an arrangement.
In addition to Nevada, voters in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia have legalised recreational use of the drug.
It became legal to possess up to an ounce of pot in Nevada and use it in private residences on January 1. Before then, residents needed a medical card to shop at dispensaries.
Tourists are expected to make up 63% of recreational pot sales, Nevada officials told the Associated Press. More than 40 million people visited Las Vegas in 2016.