Nevada just passed their recreational marijuana law, and to say that people were excited is an understatement. There were reports that the lines at dispensaries were hours-long, ATMs were emptied of money as people got ready for cash-only sales, green fireworks were being lit in celebration, and one couple chose to get married in a marijuana greenhouse.
The bride carried a bouquet with weed leaves in it, and the groom, Mark Balfe-Taylor, had a large bud tucked into his coat pocket instead of a handkerchief.
Balfe-Taylor says the legalization of recreational marijuana became an important issue for him after his father was jailed for a cannabis crime, and his new bride, Anna, went along with the idea, “Mark asked me, and I had to think about it, and no. I support it. I think it’s great,” she said.
After the wedding, the groom said, “I feel good … somewhat lost for words.”
Nevada is now the eighth state to allow the purchase of marijuana in dispensaries, and this law lets adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The law was approved by voters in November 2016, but don’t book a Vegas trip just yet; due to federal marijuana laws and state casino laws, dispensaries cannot be located on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
State Sen. Tick Segerblom was one of the first people to make a purchase of the now-legal weed. He’s considered the “godfather of the marijuana movement” in Nevada. “Every time you buy something here, 33-cents is going to taxes. This is the most heavily taxed and regulated industry in the whole state,” Segerblom explained.
Marijuana is expected to generate $60 million in tax revenue the next two years.
While many were jubilant about the new law, some still found it to be surreal. Nathaniel White was completing his purchase and noted that he had experienced trouble with the police for marijuana possession in the past, but today said that “just the receipt is amazing. I’m shocked I got a receipt for marijuana.”
It should be noted that this new law isn’t without restriction; though possession of a small amount of pot is legal, consumption of marijuana in Nevada is for private use only, limited to homes – no lighting up in public, there’s a $600 fine if you do.
Marijuana is completely prohibited in casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, concerts and on any federal property.