Nevada Turns, Wants to Double Down on Marijuana & Casinos

Nevada seems to be changing its mind about cannabis.


By Chris Roberts |

Earlier this year, casinos in Las Vegas were given a clear ultimatum from gaming bosses: Pot and slots do not mix. This was disappointing news as the city is home to America’s only (for now) 24-hour marijuana dispensaries, and is the new front-runner for most cannabis-friendly tourist destination in the country.

Nevada legalized recreational marijuana last November, and was the first of the four states to legalize on election night to begin retail sales. But fearful of a lawsuit or triggering a federal crackdown, the Nevada Gaming Commission informed anyone licensed to host lucrative gambling that they could not also pursue a cannabis dispensary or cultivation permit.

Any establishment already with a gaming license — and since in there are slot machines everywhere from Caesar’s Palace down to Sid’s Humble Roadside Pit Stop in Nevada, that means everyone — risked losing that license if they allowed marijuana activity on the premises. Since the house always wins, gambling houses heeded the clear warning and wisely decided to steer clear.

That caution lasted all of a few months. Just days after witnessing 18,000 paying convention-goers descend on Vegas for Marijuana Business Daily’s annual MJBizCon — the biggest crowd in the event’s history, and roughly 80 percent growth over the 2016 event — Nevada officials have pulled a full reversal and are cooking up ways to make gaming halls weed-friendly.

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Nevada marijuana laws Las Vegas gaming commission casinos