At last November’s election, Nevada voters passed Measure 2 allowing recreational marijuana sales to begin July 1, 2017. As the start of summer came around, four dispensaries in Reno and a handful of medical marijuana facilities in Southern Nevada opened up their businesses to recreational sales. Marijuana aficionados flocked to the dispensaries with their pockets filled with cash, but were met with long waits and lines out the door.
Meanwhile, the City of Sparks was working on building a new business application that would bring in revenues from recreational sales that would best accommodate the city and dispensaries’ goals. Staff presented the first reading of the new proposal to stakeholders in the community in early June with the second reading and possible adoption at a July 10 Sparks City Council meeting. After much discussion, the city council passed the new business application in a 3-2 vote. By the end of that week, Sparks’ dispensaries were off to the races in rec MJ sales.
“We started selling recreational marijuana on July 14 and sales have been pretty good,” says Greenleaf Wellness employee Brandon Clegg. “When we opened with only medical sales it was rough, but now since we’ve offered rec it’s been nice.”
Greenleaf medical patients pay a two percent tax on cannabis products while rec customers pay an 18 percent tax (the 8.25 percent sales tax and a 10 percent excise tax). Cannabis flower strains such as 911, OG, ATF, and Oregon Raspberry continue to be Greenleaf’s top-selling products amongst rec customers and medical marijuana patients.
“The first day (of rec sales) was hectic; we saw triple the amount of people through the doors,” Clegg says. “It was like an army of people…a lot different than what we’ve been used to,” he adds. Greenleaf sent out a text message to its customers when it was ready to offer recreational sales and word quickly spread.
Greenleaf Wellness is located at 1730 Glendale Avenue and open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We have top-of-the-line flower, great prices, and great customer service,” says Clegg.
Silver State Relief over on 175 East Greg Street has also seen a spike in customers since it started offering recreational sales on July 15. Silver State promoted its launch through its social media networks, but didn’t have any lines out the door like what dispensaries experienced on July 1.
“We changed our business hours to open at 8 a.m. instead of nine, so people just trickled in throughout the day,” says Silver State Patient Intake Coordinator Megan Aingimea. “It was steady and easy; we had a lot of people come in but it didn’t get crazy, everyone was able to get what they wanted. Rec has brought in a whole bunch more business; double or triple the amount of bodies that were here before,” she adds.
Aingimea also noted that the launch of rec sales has also brought in more medical patients as it has been rumored that other dispensaries are running out of flower strains that can be found at Silver State, although edibles and vape pen extracts are popular too. Silver State builds the 8.25 percent sales tax into its menu prices and rec customers pay the additional 10 percent excise tax.
“We grow our own flower and charge accordingly to what it’s worth on the market,” Aingimea says. “Our menu is available online (which doesn’t include tax), rec users must be ages 21 and up with a valid ID, and we do accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards,” she adds. Silver State Relief is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.