People line up to buy recreational marijuana in Nevada.

People Line Up to Buy Recreational Marijuana in Nevada

People Line Up to Buy Recreational Marijuana in Nevada

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The Slatest
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July 1 2017 6:59 PM

People Line Up to Buy Recreational Marijuana in Nevada

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A customer pays for cannabis products at Essence Vegas Cannabis Dispensary on July 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Hundreds of people lined up in the middle of the night to be among the first to buy legal marijuana in Nevada, which became the fifth state to allow recreational sales on Saturday morning. Tourists and locals alike were in the often-long lines celebrating the first sales that came after voters in Nevada approved legalization in November.

Now anyone who is 21 and older can buy up to an ounce of marijuana in Nevada. And while tourists are expected to make up a big percentage of the customers, marijuana can only be consumed in a private home. That’s why dispensaries seem to be banking on the popularity of edibles, particularly in Las Vegas.

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Customers line up outside Essence Vegas Cannabis Dispensary as they wait for the midnight start of recreational marijuana sales to begin on June 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Nevada is now the fifth state—after Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska—to fully regulate and tax the recreational marijuana market. Three other states—California, Maine, and Massachusetts—also approved legalization of marijuana last year but they have yet to implement the legal sales.

Supporters of legalization say Nevada is set to take in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue on the sales. “The shows, the gambling, the drinks … now legal pot,” a 26-year-old visitor from Chicago who bought marijuana at a dispensary a block away from the Strip told the Los Angeles Times. “Who wouldn’t want to come visit?”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.