Tourists, locals buy Nev.’s legal marijuana

LAS VEGAS — Cheers and long lines of tourists and locals alike greeted the first day of sales of recreational marijuana on Saturday as Nevada became the fifth state with stores selling pot to the public in a market that is expected to outpace all others in the U.S. thanks to the millions of visitors who flock to Las Vegas each year.

Veteran consumers, first-timers, twenty-somethings and retirees were among those who defied triple-digit temperatures before they made it into stores across the Las Vegas area, some of which opened shortly after midnight and later provided free water, live music, valet parking and coveted promotions on their valuable product. Eager employees guided customers and answered questions from product potency to Nevada’s consumption regulations.

Minnesota resident Edgar Rosas Lorenzo on Saturday flew with his family to Sin City for his sister’s wedding. But even before he checked in to his hotel, he stopped at a dispensary on the Las Vegas Strip.

Lorenzo, 21, said he learned of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada while he was at the airport waiting for his flight to depart. He drove with his sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law from the rental car facility in Las Vegas straight to the dispensary. They waited in line about 40 minutes before he could buy one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana and hemp wraps.

“It was worth the wait. I’m going to come get some more tomorrow.”