Brisk sales, large crowds mark Vegas' first weekend of recreational pot sales

Sales remain brisk Monday, July 3, 2017, at recreational marijuana establishments across the Las Vegas valley. (Donald Lane/KSNV)

At Las Vegas ReLeaf, the cash keeps coming. It's a steady stream of business, and at the counter, were retirees Gene and Joan, from Arizona.

“We got some chocolate bars to help relax at night. We got a cookie,” said customer Joan Brown.

In this store, you'll find young ... and young at heart. Gene's 80. Joan's 65.

“As we age like we are, we have arthritis, we have aches and pains. You don’t sleep as well as you used to,” Joan tells News 3.

They did pot in college … so I asked if they’re getting flashbacks.

“Just a little. But it will be better than the 60's,” Joan told me with a chuckle.

Hospitals tell us Nevada's recreational marijuana weekend yielded no marijuana emergencies at ER's. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department tells us, as far as marijuana-related calls go, things were, well, mellow.

Around town, our informal survey reported brisk recreational business over the weekend. At Las Vegas ReLeaf, there were more than a thousand customers on Saturday alone.

“Based on our sales and my conversations with other businesses, I believe there were at least three to five million dollars in sales over the weekend,” says Nevada Dispensary Association President and CEO of The+Source dispensary, Andrew Jolley.

“We're getting kind of low on supply. What we're really waiting on is alcohol distributors to actually get their license,” says Damien White, Las Vegas ReLeaf’s Compliance Manager.

A couple weeks ago, a Carson City judge said alcohol distributors are the only ones who can deliver recreational pot to stores that sell it.

That system still isn't in place, and stores like Las Vegas ReLeaf could run out of the recreational stock they have on hand. Under Nevada’s “early start” program, medical marijuana dispensaries were allowed to sell recreational product while the recreational industry gets established. As of June 30, 39 dispensaries in Clark County were licensed for recreational sales.

RELATED | Patience remains strong for customers awaiting recreational marijuana purchase

Las Vegas ReLeaf officials tell me alcohol distributors need to get licensed and in place quickly. Absent that, the dispensary tells me the state needs to establish emergency regulations that allow marijuana dispensaries to bring in their own recreational supply like they do for their medical marijuana stock.

Meanwhile, at ReLeaf, the stream of customers included Chris Benedetto, who today, hit marijuana’s magic number.

“I just turned 21 today,” Benedetto told me.

He made the trip down from Utah to buy himself a birthday present. Among his purchases, “an eighth of Pineapple Express, because I felt why not treat myself in a place like this.”

I reminded him that marijuana is illegal back in Utah.

“You don't have to worry so long as you use everything where it is legal, right?” he said with a grin.

We'll take his word for it ... and tell this 21-year-old: pace yourself.

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