February 12, 2016 - 10:01 pm
Some brick-and-mortar medical marijuana dispensaries have begun delivery services to homes, but not to hotels, and not to tourists.
As long as medical marijuana patient card-holders have valid Nevada addresses, some physical-location dispensaries are driving weed to these patients suffering from cancer, migraines and a few other health concerns politicians deem worthy of mortal relief.
Once news reached me, I called dispensaries. Most said they plan to deliver, but less than a handful are delivering at this point, including Apothecary Shoppe on Flamingo (patients must buy a minimum of $100 or so); Euphoria Wellness on South Jones Boulevard ($50 minimum); and Las Vegas ReLeaf on Paradise Road ($100 minimum).
Politicians (financial allies of marijuana-rival pharmaceutical companies) took so many years to approve legal, regulated, taxed storefronts, only 10 have opened so far, 16 years after 65 percent of Nevada voters demanded medical marijuana.
Next week’s new dispensary, Essence West, holds its grand opening on Wednesday at 5765 W. Tropicana Ave.
These physical storefronts are competing against more than 80 deliver-only services listed on Weedmaps.com and the Weedmaps app.
Delivery-only services appear to aspire to operate within the law, as drivers use their own medical marijuana cards to legally grow weed, and they seem to exchange homegrown medicine to other legal card-holders, technically via donations.
VIDEO GAME EVENTS TRICKLE INTO VEGAS
Strip executives have yet to figure out how to capture video gamers’ money, which is odd, considering Las Vegas popularized the “freemium” business model video game companies now use to earn billions.
Vegas used to be more of a “freemium” or “cheapium” place: You’d get free or cheap food, room and booze in exchange for gambling. That “loss-leader” system is all but over.
Conversely, the video game industry began as a pay-only business, but has become more like old Vegas with its “freemium” loss-leader models: Download a game for free, but pay real money for extra turns, characters, character clothes, game swords and so on.
Last year, such digital gaming (downloads of games and extras, via PC, Xbox, PlayStation, phones and tablets) pulled in $61 billion, a 34 percent increase over 2014, says SuperData Research, a gaming firm.
Not every casino is asleep at the “Need for Speed” wheel.
On Friday, Downtown Grand announced it will host a live video game event with a mouthful of a title: “Wargaming.net League North America Season 2 2016 Regional Finals” starring the game “World of Tanks.”
What is this “World of Tanks,” you newbs ask?
It’s a “freemium” tank-vs.-tank game. You download it for free, then play it against people around the world (a massively multiplayer online game).
If you wish to buy “World of Tanks’s” “premium” extras, such as a 50 percent boost of combat experience for your tanks (a sanctioned cheat), this will cost you $1.50 to $96, depending on your level of fetishized commitment.
Free-to-play “World of Tanks” earned $446 million in PC sales in 2015, making it the fifth-richest digital PC title of the year. “League of Legends” was first, another free-to-download game, earning $1.63 billion in premium extras.
The Downtown Grand’s “World of Tanks” event will happen at 12:45 p.m. Feb. 27, when four teams compete for a $75,000 grand prize, and it will be streamed live on BattleViewer.com.
Admission to the “Tanks” competition will be free, but if you go and desire extras, such as booze and food, it will cost you. That’s Downtown Grand’s “freemium” old Vegas model for the day.
Meanwhile, also off the Strip, SuperLeague.com’s four-week video game league will debut at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in movie theaters at Sam’s Town hotel, South Point hotel, and Cinedome 12 in Henderson.
This Super League will pit player-teams ($60 entry per player) against rival teams gaming on movie screens during weekly, 90-minute laptop rounds of “Minecraft: Galactic Mission,” a new offshoot of “Minecraft,” the third best-selling game of all time, bought by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
You’d think casinos might at least conjure up freemium game spots featuring Xboxes, PlayStations and PCs, the way Insert Coins did downtown until an investor pulled the plug. Alas, real video game money continues to elude gaming experts.
RAIDERS QB SACKS VEGAS NFL IDEA
Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim Plunkett of the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders doesn’t think Vegas is getting a relocated Raiders team — nor does he believe Vegas is a viable NFL city.
Caught on the street in San Francisco and asked about Raiders-to-Vegas reports he told a TMZ paparazzi that “anything’s a possibility,” however:
“I don’t think the Raiders will be playing in Vegas, though. Not enough people — not a large enough population,” Plunkett said.
“You gotta get a populated area where fans will always be there,” he said dismissively.
Venetian-Palazzo-RJ owner Sheldon Adelson has proposed building a $1.2 billion domed stadium near UNLV, with Adelson interests ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the project. Adelson has met with Raiders owner Mark Davis to discuss the stadium plan.
A preliminary financing plan for the stadium calls for tax revenue to pay for a big chunk of the stadium. Opposition forces at MGM Resorts International and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority want room tax dollars to go toward a $2.3 billion expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Instead, how about spending more tax money on Nevada’s education system? It’s ranked dead last among the 50 states, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Doug Elfman can be reached at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman. On Twitter: @VegasAnonymous