Weed 101: Tips for first-time buyers

Photo: Jon Estrada

1. Nevada dispensaries can’t accept checks or credit cards.

The DEA still considers marijuana a Schedule I Controlled Substance, which makes it illegal at the federal level—and any bank with which a

dispensary could do business is subject to federal regulation. The dispensaries aren’t wild about the situation, either. “We would love nothing more than to be able to take credit cards,” says Essence Cannabis Dispensary's Armen Yemenidjian. “No one in cannabis wants to be an all-cash business; it’s more time-consuming.” Luckily, most dispensaries—including Essence—have on-site ATMs.

2. Don’t go to Henderson to buy … yet.

Last February, the Henderson City Council adopted a wait-and-see approach to recreational marijuana, with a six-month moratorium on sales. Henderson’s dispensaries are expected to come on board by August.

3. Ignore those rumors that medical weed is stronger.

“At the current time, anything that’s medical is also recreational; we’ve merged the two systems,” State Senator Tick Segerblom says. The Snoop Dogg OG you buy will be identical to the stuff your medical card-carrying friend buys—with one caveat …

4. Expect to pay a bit more than medicinal marijuana customers.

A 10 percent retail tax, tacked onto all recreational sales during Nevada’s recent legislative session, will be applied at checkout. But it’s okay: Those monies will be used to shore up Nevada’s “rainy day fund,” 40 percent of which will be used to replenish the state’s education coffers.

5. Keep it at home.

One of the strict conditions of legalization is that you can only partake on your own property, or on the property of a friend who has given you permission. That means you can’t smoke on the streets, at concerts, in casinos, at bars or anywhere else where non-consenting parties might be present. (That includes in private cars on public roads.)

6. Brace for dry mouth.

Marijuana contains THC, a cannabinoid—the chemical compounds in cannabis that influence the receptors in your brain and body. And aside from interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in your brain and nervous system to produce euphoria, THC causes your submandibular glands to temporarily quit producing saliva. Combat the shutdown by drinking lots of water ... like you should be doing anyway.

Editor’s note: Brian Greenspun, the CEO, publisher and editor of Greenspun Media Group, the parent company of Las Vegas Weekly, has an ownership interest in Essence Cannabis Dispensary.

Photo of Geoff Carter

Geoff Carter

Experts in paleoanthropology believe that Geoff Carter began his career in journalism sometime in the early Grunge period, when he ...

Get more Geoff Carter
Top of Story