Nevada pot sites ready for legal sales to begin

LAS VEGAS — At a nondescript building near the Las Vegas Strip, workers in scrubs, hair nets and surgical masks furiously attached labels to sealed jars as others checked on growing marijuana plants or carefully weighed buds.

The frenzied activity is focused on one goal: Getting dispensaries ready to start selling recreational marijuana Saturday in Nevada, largely to tourists.

The company that owns the indoor cultivation facility and three dispensaries in Las Vegas has been gearing up since voters approved legal pot in November. Desert Grown Farms held job fairs, checked employees’ backgrounds and hired about 60 additional workers.

But preparing to pump enough pot into a market eventually expected to outpace any other legal pot state — at least until California starts its sales — and complying with last-minute regulations has been a task.

Nevada will join Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in allowing those 21 and older to buy the drug.

It remains illegal to use the drug in public areas, including casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, convention centers and concert halls — places frequently visited by millions of tourists, who are expected to make nearly two of every three recreational pot purchases in Nevada. Violators face a $600 fine. Plus, you can’t light up and drive. “You can be on Percocet, Valium, meth, booze or marijuana, if you are found to be under the influence, you will go to jail,” Las Vegas Officer Larry Hadfield said.