Vegas myths busted: You can buy legal weed on the strip


Published on: November 6, 2023 at 08:06 pm.

Last updated on: 5 November 2023 at 09:41 h.

Las Vegas is a city built on bluffs, primarily because your odds of winning the jackpot are good. But some of her deceptions are less expected and plausible. For example, six stores on the Las Vegas Strip are trying to present hemp as weed.

The Las Vegas Strip is not where you will find legal weed, although there are signs telling you otherwise. (Photo:

Although hemp and hemp are the same plant, hemp contains more than 0.03% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gets users high. Hemp no. Mostly, it contains the non-psychoactive compound CBD.

A loophole in the 2018 Nevada Farm Bill allows anyone to sell hemp anywhere they want, without the state’s Hemp Compliance Board, or other regulatory body, setting rules for its quality and safety.

Located across Las Vegas Boulevard from City Center, it is one of the few fake weed dispensaries dotting the Strip. Its Yelp score is 1 out of 5 stars, the lowest rating possible, with an average of 49 reviews. (Image: Google)

Most customers patronize these fake dispensaries knowing only that cannabis is now legal in Las Vegas. They have no idea they are being scammed.

Fake dispensaries, which usually display the cannabis leaf on their logo, sell cannabis buds (flower) that appear, and even smell, indistinguishable from hemp. They also sell gum, cartridges and other products in bags and boxes whose packages depict smiling faces eating and smoking their contents.

“You walk in and there are flowers in jars, there are big security guards, and they charge the same prices. But there’s no THC listed in the product,” said Lakey Martin of the Nevada Hemp Association.

Not only will this fake cannabis get you high, it may contain synthetic marijuana, pesticides, or other ingredients that can harm you since these products have not been laboratory tested.

What does the law say…

Nevada prohibits legal cannabis dispensaries from operating “in any location, attraction, or public area of ​​the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street Experience,” and less than 1,500 feet from any establishment with an unrestricted gaming license operating anywhere else.

This is why most licensed cannabis dispensaries in Las Vegas are located within about a half-mile of either of Sin City’s two tourist corridors.

But any business that does not sell real cannabis is not subject to this law or any other state law.

Fake cannabis dispensary on las vegas strip
This fake dispensary, located in a 1,500-square-foot Planet Hollywood mall, also has a Yelp rating of 1 out of 5 stars. (Image: Google)

In June, the city of Las Vegas cracked down on fake dispensaries. It passed a law requiring them to write on raised signs at their entrance: “This location is not licensed to sell cannabis.” It also requires that the actual (low) THC levels of all products be listed on their packaging.

Although a victory, this law only affects counterfeit dispensaries along Fremont Street. This is because the Las Vegas Strip is not located in the city of Las Vegas, a fact that still confuses most tourists despite our attempt to debunk this myth last year.

The sector is governed by Clark County, which has not yet passed a similar ordinance. So still buyer beware out there.

How to spot a fake

  1. The “Dispensary” is located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street Experience area
    This was covered thoroughly above.
  2. You can see their sales counter from the street
    All licensed dispensaries have a lobby where someone checks IDs with a Cannabis Board-certified scanner before bringing customers into the store. Nevada law requires IDs to be scanned, not just checked at the front of the line outside. If the street entrance opens directly into the store, this means that the owner does not fear losing his license to sell cannabis by neglecting to scan ID cards, because he has nothing to lose.
  3. The “Dispensary” accepts credit cards
    Real cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, so it can only be paid for with cash or debit card. (This is true everywhere it’s legal, not just Las Vegas.) Credit cards cannot be used because they are issued by banks backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  4. Check the Nevada Hemp Compliance Board website
    List for everyone State-licensed dispensaries are posted here.

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