WEED FEED / John Ross Ferrara / Monday, July 3 @ 8:50 a.m.

Weed Feed: Nevada Legalizes Recreational Pot, Big Booze Wants a Piece of the Action



Graphic by John Ferrara. Photos from Wikimedia and Flickr user PunkToad.

Nevada became the fifth state to legalize recreational cannabis over the weekend, adding yet another allure to Las Vegas’ culture of adult entertainment.

On midnight Saturday, pot shops all over the state opened their doors to lines of customers excited to buy recreational buds. But legalizing weed in a state long fueled by liquor and cigarettes has its setbacks, and big booze isn’t willing to move forward without its share of the profits.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a federal judge signed an order last week, prohibiting the Department of Taxation from enforcing its May 31 license application deadline after the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada filed a complaint.

Alcohol distributors are arguing that the voter-approved ballot measure legalizing recreational pot, gives liquor wholesalers exclusive rights to Nevada’s weed distribution for the next 18 months.

NBC News reports that state officials plan to appeal the judge’s ruling. But in the meantime, pot shops are left in distribution limbo.

While bud dispensaries can continue to sell what they have stock. As of now, there’s no legal means for the businesses to receive new pot shipments.

In the meantime, NBC News reports, dispensaries have preemptively stocked up enough weed to potentially fill demand for the next 30 days, as legislators and alcohol wholesalers hash out the details. But the future in uncertain.

Nevada’s recreational pot users also face problems moving forward.

For example: While it’s perfectly legal to carry and drink from an open alcohol container on the strip, the Las Vegas Sun reports that using cannabis in public or at a private residence without the owner’s consent is still illegal and can land you a $600 ticket.

And seeing that casinos aren’t likely to favor paranoid stoners over impulsive drinkers anytime soon, pot tourists will likely have to hotbox their hotel bathrooms or munch on inconspicuous edibles if they want to cruise the strip high.

Not that it hasn’t been done before. Viva Las Vegas!

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The Weed Feed is a weekly column written by John Ross Ferrara.

The Weed Feed is a one-stop shop for the best local and national cannabis news.

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