On July 1st, the recreational marijuana market in Nevada goes live, and dispensaries are scrambling to prepare for the enormous boost that the state’s marijuana industry is about to be on the receiving end of. There hasn’t been much time for them to repackage, re-label and stock up on product because of the court battles that have tied up the distribution process up until last week.
Blum Dispensary, located in Midtown Reno, anticipates its sales to skyrocket by 250%. Not only has the dispensary stocked up on product, but they have hired ten additional employees to help manage the anticipated surge of customers rushing to their doors. Updated training has also been implemented among their staff members, both old and new, to keep them informed of the changes that the law will enact come July 1st.
There are a few differences between recreational and medical marijuana sales, with recreational purchases facing a 100mg limit as well as an additional excise tax. Still, at Blum Dispensary, the process of obtaining your marijuana remains the same: customers will check in at the front desk before speaking with a “budtender,” who will help them find the marijuana strain or product for their needs.
Mikel Alvarez, director of retail operations, also believes that this newly-enacted legislation will create a lot more of what he calls “phantom patients.” He uses this term to reference those who want to use marijuana for medical purposes, but are afraid or otherwise unwilling to be placed on a list for Nevada’s existing medical marijuana program. Veterans are one example of these “phantom patients,” as many are reluctant to sign up for such a system while the plant remains illegal on a federal basis.
The excitement is palpable, with the dispensary receiving calls every day asking if individuals and groups can camp out in front of the store on the night leading up to the 1st. While Alvarez is not sure if the dispensary will allow for people to line up the night before, he wants medical marijuana patients to rest assured that they do not have to worry about the lines. They will be served with priority, ahead of recreational users.