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Las Vegas ReLeaf Medical Marijuana Dispensary now hiring

Las Vegas (KSNV News3LV) -- Want to work at a medical marijuana dispensary? Get ready for some competition.

At the Las Vegas Releaf Medical Marijuana Dispensary, which sits in the shadow of the Stratosphere, it boils down to about 25 applicants for every open position.

"We received over a thousand applicants for about 40 positions," says Michael Hayford, the dispensary's Launch Manager.

Liftoff, at Las Vegas Releaf, will happen once "product" arrives. Like all other Clark County and city dispensaries, business remains on hold while the marijuana is being grown and cultivated.

When will the business open?

"We're working on some hurdles, as it would be, with some of the product manufacturers and cultivators now, and we're hopeful sometime in September," Hayford tells News 3.

Monday, approximately 200 applicants arrived for interviews and more are expected Tuesday. Co-founder Alfred Fasano tells News 3 staffing decisions should be made Wednesday. New employees could begin work at the end of the month, in preparation for the September opening, if all goes as planned.

The applicants were a mix of young and old; Las Vegas old-timer and newcomer; many were medical marijuana patients themselves.

"I want to provide the service that I would get," says Edwin Foster, himself a patient, who has seen dispensaries in other states. His own medical experience prepares him for the job, he says. "You're looking for service, you're looking for someone who cares about you, has product knowledge, really knows the strains, the subspeciesthat'll help," he adds.

Along with the applicants came two lawmakers who have been big supporters of the evolving industry. Congresswoman Dina Titus, D-Nevada, and State Senator Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, arrived Monday morning and were given a tour of the facilities.

"Congress needs to catch up with the rest of the country," Titus says. "State legislatures are moving initiatives, they're being passed, people are speaking and now Congress needs to do more," she says.

When it comes to marijuana, government is developing a split personality. It is technically still on Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act, keeping company with LSD and Heroin. Schedule 1, according to the act, is for drugs that have no "currently acceptable medical use." Yet, medical marijuana is becoming more commonplace, as more states move to make it available. In Nevada, the state has paved the way legislatively for dispensaries to open. In Clark County, the hold-up has been getting marijuana to sell.

"It's gonna happen, but the growers seem to be behind the curve as far as getting it out there," says Segerblom, who has been instrumental in moving medical marijuana legislation at the State Capitol.

The dispensary business will generate cash, and potentially lots of it. And that's a problem: some banks are shying away from the industry, worried that if current attitudes shift, they could wind up in the crosshair of a federal crackdown in a new administration.

Not a problem, says Las Vegas Releaf's Hayford. "We've gotten multiple plans on how we'll deal with the cash," Hayford says. "There's a number of different solutions that are being developed."

"This is a legitimate business. They need privileges of banking, like any other company," says Congresswoman Titus.

"I think we're reaching a tipping point," she continues. "Whether you argue it's a state's rights issue, it's a medical-ethical issue, it's an economic issuemore and more people, I think, will be getting on board."

Las Vegas Releaf sits in a strip mall near the intersection of Sahara and the Strip. It is a modern, attractive facility, with lots of security: heavy, locked doors with controlled entry, and cameraseverywhere.

So much so, even local inspectors took notice. "Individuals from the building department might look at it and say - how big is the building again? How many cameras are in there?" Hayford says, recounting his conversations with building officials.

One of the applicants Monday was Rudolph Montoya, looking for work after spending years in gaming. He is a medical marijuana believer.

"It helps people. It helps a lot of people," he says.

He's ready to dive-in and sell up a storm.

"Well, I can talk a lot - that's what my wife says."

To check out the open positions applicants must call for an appointment. Las Vegas ReLeaf Dispensary can be reached at (702) 209-2400. The job fair is at 2242 South Paradise Road.

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