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Las Vegas pot dispensaries make last-minute preparations

At the marijuana dispensaries gearing up for legal recreational sales that begin Saturday, it’s all hands on deck.

Dispensaries around the Las Vegas Valley were waiting for final pot shipments to arrive Friday, altering packaging to adhere to legal standards and tightening security before recreational users line up to purchase weed.

“It’s a holiday weekend,” said Joel Perkins, general manager at Oasis Medical Cannabis dispensary, where doors will open at 11 p.m. for a pre-sale party with live music from DJ Edoc, body painting, food and giveaways before sales start at 12:01 a.m. “You’re usually going to get a lot of traffic on a weekend like this as it is.”

Dispensary managers anticipate lines will wrap around the door. Medical card carriers will be able to skip the long lines and receive their pot as usual at most locations.

Despite the excitement, stores are taking extra security measures after a series of dispensary break-ins over the last month. Security personnel have been hired to guard Silver Sage Wellness, a dispensary on West Charleston Boulevard that has been broken into three times since May, most recently on Thursday.

“They just broke into the front door and got into our vault and stole about $30,000 worth of cannabis,” said Amed Donado, assistant manager and marketing administrator at Silver Sage Wellness.

The dispensary is also looking into adding bars to its doors, he said.

While stores like Oasis Medical will open at 12:01 a.m., other locations, like Blum Las Vegas, are waiting until regular Saturday hours to welcome recreational users through their doors, said Mikel Alvarex, director of retail operations for Terra Tech Corp., which owns Blum.

“It’s not crazy, we’re just getting everything in order to make sure we’re in compliance for tomorrow,” he said.

There are 37 dispensaries in Las Vegas permitted to sell recreational marijuana starting Saturday. Dispensaries in Henderson must wait six months before joining in.

A judge’s ruling gave liquor distributors exclusive rights to transport weed, but the five distributors that applied said they’re not ready to go yet. The state appealed the ruling, but dispensaries have stockepiled one to two months of product to keep up with demand until legal matters are sorted out.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

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