Buying legal weed in Las Vegas has suddenly become ridiculously easy after being frustratingly difficult for years—often in ways that are hard to explain. Nevada voters approved marijuana for legal medical use way back in 2000, but dispensaries to actually sell the stuff weren’t approved by the state legislature until 2013. So for more than a decade, the most feasible law-abiding way to light up was by growing your own plants. Dispensaries finally opened in 2015, and after voters gave recreational marijuana the thumbs up in 2016 it was just a matter of how to handle the floodgates.
Whether on the Strip, in Henderson or throughout the suburbs, a dispensary is now a short drive away. Customers just need to show a valid ID to prove they’re over 21. That includes those from out-of-state as well—linking yet another vice to the economic driver of tourism, which is really what Las Vegas is about in the first place.
Although Sin City allows open containers of alcohol in tourist areas like the Strip and Fremont Street, the same can’t be said for marijuana, which is expected to be consumed privately. Unfortunately, most hotels have a policy against smoking (pot or any other kind at this point) but are relatively lax in enforcing punishment against it. Be aware—room cleaning fees aren’t cheap.
Sleek and stylish with three locations and tons of product
Bright, clean, and neat with lots of white decor, Essence likes to think of itself as the “Apple Store” of the local pot economy. Depending on where you mark your boundaries, the flagship location is the only dispensary actually on the Strip — near the south end by the Stratosphere, SLS and other Las Vegas landmarks. Additional locations include Henderson and Spring Valley, making sure a good chunk of the valley is covered. The idea is to be a one-stop-shop with everything from popcorn, to lotion, to flower (including Cookie Face and Dayglow, among the most popular of the more than 50 strains).
Off the Strip
Giant-sized grow facility is a tourist attraction for Strip visitors
The flagship location of Reef Dispensaries is hard to miss. The 165,000-square-foot facility is an imposing sight — and large enough to give off a noticeable scent when driving by. Just west of the Strip, at least one staffer estimates their customer base to be more than 90 percent out-of-towners, most of whom have no problem walking there from the big hotels (including the Wynn and Treasure Island). Locals, however, get an extra 10 percent off. Reggae and hip-hop often usually set the soundtrack for the 24/7 always-busy shop. It’s a good way to keep the party going while customers wait out the long lines. Insider tip: Call or text your order in advance and skip the line. Either way, try the Khalifa Kush (by rapper Wiz Khalifa) or Berner’s Exotikz line — both Vegas exclusives.
Old school mom-and-pop service with a double happy hour
The black and white checkered floors and antique medical artifacts make this dispensary look like a 1950s-era drug store. It definitely has a mom-and-pop shop kind of feel with vintage shelving and display cases. Just east of the Strip, Nuleaf is close to Wynn Resorts, the Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo Center. Everything in the store is 20 percent off twice a day during two daily happy hours (9am-11am and 12 midnight-2am), including the popular Grand Daddy Purp from Our State Flower. Nuleaf also has the first and only dispensary in Lake Tahoe.
A dispensary, museum, and community marketplace wrapped up in one
Acres is aiming to be a new kind of dispensary. It has a museum section that includes cool stuff like posters and magazine covers dedicated to marijuana pop culture — as well as a vintage American flag and World War II-era parachute made of hemp. Acres also features a terpene sniffing station and windows revealing an open kitchen where everything from extractions to vape fillings are prepared, not to mention house-made edibles like caramels, chocolate, gummies, and rice krispie treats. Perhaps most interesting is The Underground, a pop-up marketplace for independent vendors that’s accessible via a hallway designed to look like an underground tunnel.
Off the Strip
A quick fix near the south end of the Strip
Just a block east of the Strip, ReLeaf has an all-business urban attitude that begins the moment you’re buzzed discreetly through the front door. With Essence right around the corner — and almost sharing the same parking lot — the prices are kept fairly competitive with A-Dub and Blue Maui among the top-sellers. The staff is super-friendly and each day offers one of seven rotating specials. (50 bucks off an ounce on Fridays isn’t bad.) ReLeaf is tucked away inside a strip mall next to a Subway and a diner-style McDonalds, making it easy to plan ahead when anticipating a case of the munchies. It’s also close to the Convention Center, in case you need a fix between boring trade show conferences.
Off the Strip
Just west of the Strip is where you’ll find the best edibles in town
Across the street from the Palms resort, the Apothecary Shoppe is equal parts away from the Strip and Chinatown. Owned and operated by a group of doctors, who believe in the value of cannabis as a source of pain management, the dispensary takes its in-house line of edibles seriously, from French pralines and truffles to custom-infused cakes by an acclaimed pastry chef. The infused peanut butter could be the key ingredient to the best PB&J you’ve ever had in your life. A large grow house about two miles away from the dispensary cultivates and produces flower for the in-house Craft Cannabis brand. The showroom itself has plenty of wow factor, with red oak cabinetry lining the walls from floor to ceiling and product presented in velvet-lined display cases by concierges in formal attire. Ask about Golden Ticket, the top-selling flower strain.
Whether it’s for medical or recreational use, the focus in on quality of content
As one of the first approved dispensaries in Las Vegas, The+Source has an experienced staff ready to customize orders for both recreational and medical purposes. It also maximizes established relationships with vendors to get a first crack at new products. The+Source is found in a west valley strip mall that includes the Sun Valley Certification Center, a smoke shop and Cheba Hut, a cannabis-themed sandwich shop — lining up pretty much anything you’d need for your own personal block party of weed. An online ordering system allows for quick pick-up without spending too much time in line.
Your first stop after landing at the airport
As the closest dispensary to McCarran International Airport, visitors to Las Vegas often check out The Grove before checking into their hotel rooms. Don’t worry about arrival times — the place stays open around the clock and only closes on Christmas. The dispensary cultivates its own crop with all-natural soil, producing an earthy, danky flower with THC Bomb and Gorilla Glue #4 as its top two sellers. As for third party products, The Grove is the exclusive carrier of Kannabis in Las Vegas. Join the Grow Society, its loyal customer program, and get a free pre-roll when you spend at least $60.
Nice, bright retail feel with lots of discounts to keep prices low
Pisos isn’t in the best part of town, but you wouldn’t know it by stepping inside. Money has clearly been spent to upgrade the decor, skipping the traditional “dispensary green” in favor of light-colored wood and large windows that let in plenty of natural sunlight. Most of the staff is exceptionally friendly and appear to enjoy their jobs. A long list of discounts helps keep prices low, covering veterans, students, seniors and everyone in between. Even a teacher discount was added after customers pushed for it. (So you never know — it doesn’t hurt to ask.) The team is proud of their in-house grow team with the Lemon Banana Sherbert especially popular.
A relaxed environment near Summerlin where everyone feels comfortable
The Apothecarium wants you to know it’s looking out for everyone. It’s the kind of place where you can bring your mom and learn every detail about every strain of herb. Located on the west side of town, it’s a popular choice for the Summerlin crowd and almost feels like the lobby of a boutique hotel with crystal chandeliers, marble countertops and decorative artwork. Every now and then, the Apothecarium takes over the yoga studio next door for “The Social,” an event with food, entertainment, and samples from vendors. Ask about the supply of State Flower cannabis, a product grown without synthetic pesticides. The Apothecarium carries more of it than anybody else.