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Henderson marijuana stores celebrate first day of retail sales

Updated October 20, 2017 - 9:05 pm

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Henderson made the transition Friday to adding recreational cannabis to their menus for the first time.

All five dispensaries opened their doors in the morning, some to a line of eager customers.

Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association and CEO of The +Source dispensaries said the Henderson location had about 15 people lined up outside before the store’s opening.

“We’re really excited, not only for our company, but what this means for the city and to the community as well,” Jolley said. “This is the will of the people. The people of Henderson voted for recreational marijuana, so allowing this program to roll forward here is enacting the will of the people.”

While retail sales have been allowed in Nevada since July 1, the Henderson City Council enacted a moratorium and delayed such sales until Friday.

Jay Bryant-Chavez, 31, was smiling at The +Source on Friday afternoon as he chatted with fellow customers.

“It’s awesome to see that the city finally allowed businesses to sell recreational marijuana,” Bryant-Chavez said. “A lot of people were driving to other cities, and it just wasn’t feasible for everyone — like this elderly couple that I know. This just makes things easier for everyone.”

Jolley said that adding recreational marijuana sales boosted his store’s business, which in turn will help the city in the form of tax revenue.

“Today we saw as many people during the first four hours as we saw all day yesterday,” Jolley said.

“I’d say today we had three times the amount of customers. Many have said that they are so glad a (recreational marijuana) store finally opened close to their house. It’s been a long road, but I’m happy we finally got here.”

At Essence on Sunset Road, CEO Armen Yemenidjian said the store had a line of 30 to 40 people waiting outside around 6:30 a.m.

To celebrate, the store had a DJ and sold $1 pre-rolls to the first 100 customers.

“It’s a recreational day,” Yemenidjian said.

“A lot of people just feel happy that they don’t have to drive an extra 20 minutes to our other location. It just further proves the point that not allowing businesses to sell recreational marijuana in Henderson doesn’t stop people from buying it. It just hurts the city because they lose out on tax revenue.”

Contact Sandy Lopez at slopez@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4686. Follow @JournalismSandy on Twitter.

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