Since the legalization of recreational use in 2017, the industry has grown like a weed (no pun intended). Dispensaries are located all over the Las Vegas Valley, and experiences range in size, style, and comfort. Your first visit to a dispensary might be uncomfortable if you don’t know what to expect. I visited three local dispensaries so that I can walk you through the process. Please use responsibly.
Exploring Las Vegas Dispensaries
A few things to note before your first visit: While the use of Cannabis products is legal in the state of Nevada, there are various restrictions in place, including where you can use it. For current regulations, visit ccb.nv.gov. Many dispensaries only take cash or debit. Numerous dispensaries will deliver; however, you will often need to have exact change on hand. Capacity is likely limited at all locations. Masks are required. You will need to present your ID at entry, and you must be 21 or over.
My first dispensary visit was to The Source+. With two locations in more residential parts of town, I wanted to start with somewhere that would have a more “neighborhood” vibe. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a bit apprehensive walking in. The front desk area reminded me of an upscale pharmacy- the aesthetic was very clean and almost a bit clinical, which made me feel more comfortable. The staff checked my ID and explained the process to me while answering all of my questions. After the ID check, I walked onto the shopping floor. Most of the product in this area was for display only, so I walked around and window shopped the shelves. They carried several CBD bath and body products that were packaged like high-end spa products. The staff members were friendly and helpful throughout. They would note any products customers wanted to purchase and hand them a slip. At the register, the cashiers would pull the product from the back. The purchasing process appeared very streamlined and straightforward. I left feeling more comfortable about the experience and curious if other dispensaries operated the same way.
The Source+ Interior (Courtesy The Source+)
My next dispensary visit was to MedMen. With 30+ stores around the country and three in the Las Vegas Valley, MedMen can be considered one of the most recognized dispensary names in the entire Cannabis industry. My ID was checked quickly at the door, and then I was allowed onto the shopping floor. The layout was very different from The Source+ but just as organized and easy to navigate. Uniform tables were arranged throughout the stores with products inside, and tablets above them provided information on the corresponding items. I browsed the floor, asked some questions, and observed the check-out process. Like the last dispensary I visited, all purchase products were not located on the shopping floor but behind the counter. The staff was readily available and accommodating- the clientele at the location I visited (Harmon and Paradise) seemed to consist of more tourists with its close proximity to the Strip.
MedMen Exterior (Courtesy MedMen)
I’m glad Planet 13 was my last visit because I might have felt a bit overwhelmed if it had been my first. With the sizeable red planet out front, you definitely can’t miss Planet 13. The building is vast and would have been a bit intimidating; however, the entry procedures were pretty standard. I noticed a line to the ID check, but it moved quickly, and everyone seemed to keep to the social distancing guidelines. After the ID check, I took the ticket to enter the shopping floor (you need to scan the ticket to go in). Here, I was greeted by a friendly staff member who informed me that I should enter the virtual queue for check-out before I shopped. Since I was just window shopping, I opted out of the virtual line. I noticed several tourists with suitcases walking around and can only assume this was their first stop on their vacation.
After perusing the shopping floor, I wandered back out into the lobby. Directly across from the shopping floor entrance is Trece Eatery + Spirits and Purc, a coffee bar. I ventured past these entries and found what appeared to be the large windows to a candy factory. This section is actually the kitchen that makes select edibles in-house, and a touchscreen pad in front of the windows provided information on the brands made in-house. While the last two dispensaries had comfortable boutique vibes, Planet 13 felt more like an all-encompassing experience complete with food and photo ops. Walking out, I noticed many tourists taking photos with the gigantic Planet 13 sign driving home the idea that Planet 13 is a destination in itself. After my three visits, I went home feeling more comfortable with the entire process of visiting and eager to see what the industry does next.
Dispensary Cases at Planet 13 (©Artisans on Fire)