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[Captains of cannabis]

Benny Tso, Chairman, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe

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Benny Tso
Photo: Mikayla Whitmore

Having originally planned for a medical marijuana dispensary along with a cultivation and production facility, Las Vegas Paiute tribe chairman Benny Tso saw more potential in recreational marijuana when news first emerged that it would be on last year’s ballot. He reached out to tribal-led businesses across the western U.S. for ideas on forming the ultimate recreational marijuana store: a 15,500 square-foot mega dispensary on Paiute land near Downtown Las Vegas.

The recently-opened Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace also features Nevada’s first marijuana drive-thru, where shoppers can order an eighth of Stardawg flower or a stack of canna pucks edibles like they do a hamburger and fries. Nuwu is modeled after its neighboring smoke shop, which boasts the most customer traffic of any such store in Nevada. “We want all customers to have that same experience of being able to get in and get out,” Tso said. “It’s about speed and convenience.”

And the leader of the Las Vegas Paiutes said the tribe isn’t done with its cannabis business endeavors. While plans for future Las Vegas Valley facilities are still in the works, Tso said pot will be a “significant part of the tribe’s economic future,” which should contribute to the larger goal of making Las Vegas an international marijuana destination.

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Chris Kudialis started at the Las Vegas Sun in 2015 after a year with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A graduate ...

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