Tokers Rejoice as Nevada Pot Shops Now Sell Recreational Weed

By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle

RENO — Thousands of tokers kicked off retail pot sales in Nevada Saturday, crowding into more than two dozen dispensaries in Reno and Las Vegas, where long lines of giddy buyers waited throughout the day for a taste of history.

Whoops and cheers broke out as the doors opened in several locations at one minute past midnight Saturday, making Nevada the fifth state in the nation to let pot shops sell recreational marijuana.

“It’s a day in history,” shouted Todd Weatherhead, 35, who was the first to walk through the doors of the Dispensary in Reno at 8 a.m., after waiting outside for three hours and 40 minutes. “Here we have been arrested, persecuted, frowned upon — and now we have a chance to purchase this plant legally and, by paying taxes, support local government. It’s incredibly exciting.”

It was a major victory for a state better known for its legal gambling and prostitution, but the latest indulgence is particularly special because it comes six months before neighboring California pulls the trigger on recreational reefer.

The rush began amid the pomp of Las Vegas, where a cannabis-crusading state senator was among the first to purchase the newly legal herb amid fireworks and preening celebrities. But the crowds were just as big at the four shops that opened in Reno, where many of the ganja trade’s true-blue hedonists, including several from California, crowded against the shelves and display cases to sample the wares.

“It’s huge,” said Mikel Alvarez, director of retail operations for Blüm, a Reno dispensary where the hoi polloi of hemp gathered before midnight Friday in hopes of getting in on the action. “It’s been a long time coming.”

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