As far as legal cannabis goes, Las Vegas straddles miracle and mirage.
Sin City has blossomed into a vertically integrated capital of cultivation, processing, manufacturing and retailing packaged for the masses amid glitz, glam and government regulations as keenly choreographed as Cirque du Soleil.
Nevada’s recreational pot law allows adults to purchase one ounce of flowers, 3.5 grams of extracts or 3,500 mg of edibles per day. Odds are you won’t come close to consuming that much per day during the average three-day stay.
You can buy cannabis on The Strip from a boutique whose name sounds like a showgirl’s — Essence. But toke up at gaming tables, where cigarettes are legal, or in rooms and suites or poolside at major casino-hotels and face a $600 ticket, a pricey room-cleaning fee or outright ejection
You can’t legally partake anywhere in Nevada except in private residences and private buildings with owners’ permission. For all its permissive excess, Las Vegas lacks one key amenity: cannabis lounges. So plan on being clandestine or creative.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
While you can’t rent hotel rooms for smoke seshes, there are several options offered for rent by private parties — some in condo towers affiliated with and adjacent to major hotel-casinos, some in run-of-the-mill apartments, and all close to major attractions.
• CannabisTours.com has private, 420-friendly Las Vegas rooms starting at $100 per night. A five-bedroom party house will run $510. The Palms Place penthouse is where Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah stays when he’s in Las Vegas. The condo features a stainless steel kitchen, marble and wood floors and a huge balcony. Walking distance to three dispensaries (Exhale, The Clinic Nevada and The Apothecary Shoppe). Access to pool, hot tub, spa, fitness center and sun deck. Restaurants on site. Room service meals available. $195 per night.
• BudAndBreakfast.com lists five places in Las Vegas all at $150 per night.
The Best Las Vegas Dispensaries
There are more than 40 dispensaries in Las Vegas. First-timer? Don’t feel the need to visit too many. Also, resist kid-in-candy-store urges to purchase and consume everything. A little can go a long way.
Delivery Service ProTip: If you’re staying in a private residence and not in a hotel, delivery services will save you travel time and eliminate time spent waiting in lines at popular dispensaries. Place your order online or by phone before you leave home and receive your order when you check into your cannabis-friendly private lodging. Among dispensaries, Essence delivers. Blackbird is a distributor that delivers for more than a dozen dispensaries.
3400 Western Ave.
Why go: The exclusive purveyor of connoisseur-grade cannabis personally selected by Berner, a San Francisco rapper and marijuana mogul. You can pre-order for pick-up.
What to buy: Flower lovers, buy: Sundae Driver, Purple Punch, Acapulco Gold and Orange Zkilltez. Edibles: Trokies with Melatonin for sleep or CBD for new users.
4850 S. Fort Apache Rd.
Why go: A deep selection for every type of cannabis modality.
What to try: The elite flowers like Mendo Cream, Tangie, WiFi OG, Key Lime Pie and Slymer. For hash lovers, Moxie Cannabiotix and Vader brands are all superb. For edibles — Mountain High Suckers. Vape pen lovers? Select Relax pens and the Moxie Watermelon cart.
2307 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Why go: It’s The Strip’s sole dispensary, carrying about 250 different types of products.
What to try: Potent flowers like Kosher Kush, Mendo Cream #2, Kumquat, Lemon Meringue #1, Cookies & Cream #2 and J-Lo. Baby J’s pre-rolls. For edibles — the Kalm Corn, Dixie Dew Drops and Raw Local Honey.
4647 Swenson St.
Why go: Former Humboldt grower Kevin Biernacki oversees an eco-friendly grow that feeds a local product line of flowers, concentrates and edibles. The Grove recently hosted a cannabis-themed wedding in its cultivation room. The Grove is the nearest dispensary to McCarran International Airport — a 5-minute ride by Uber or Lyft.
What to try: The Cannabiotix Orange Cookies flower, or an O.pen CRAFT Super Blue Dream vape pen, or District edibles Tropical Punch gummies.
Munchie challenge, accepted: The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is Las Vegas’ most decadent all-you-can-eat experience. This is a no-brainer.
The Most Important Meal: Ovo-centric breakfast sandwiches are the thing at the Cosmopolitan’s Egg Slut. Hash House A Go Go downtown at the Plaza Hotel also serves up large portions of over-the-top Americana classics with farm-forward twists.
Keep it classic: Peppermill for meals or the fireside lounge.
Clean eating: Hipscale vegan vittles at Simply Pure in the Downtown Container Park. Simply Pure serves vegan tacos, spring rolls, lasagna, nachos, raw chili cheese fries, fresh juices and more. Entrees less than $12.
Grilled Treats: Retreat from Las Vegas’ epic excess at Abriya Raku, where small, inexpensive Japanese robata dishes are cooked over a charcoal grill in a 48-seat restaurant off The Strip. Most grilled items at Abriya Raku — Kobe beef liver, Kurobuta pork cheeks, pork ear and pork intestine — are less than $5. Iberico pork, Kobe beef filet and foie gras starting at $10 and topping out at $17.
Keep It Simple: In-N-Out Burger, the California classic fetishized among burger aficionados, is now open on The Strip. In-N-Out Burger is located at The Linq Promenade, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. S. and is open until 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Donut Bar: Donut Bar! Enough said.
Meat Lovers: Bazaar Meat. Craftsteak.
Best Bar Bet: Velveteen Rabbit.
Keeping It Lit: Get up close and visual with the Neon Museum’s restored and dramatically lit vintage signs from defunct casinos, dry cleaners and other businesses of Las Vegas’ luminous past. Guided evening of the Neon Museum’s outdoor signage boneyard $22-$26 until 10 p.m. Late-night tours $24-$28.
770 N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Best Magic: Penn and Teller.
High Art: Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Aria Fine Art Collection.
Fantastic Voyage: There’s something about cannabis that opens you up to fantastical worlds. Try out your best Arthurian accent and bring your trusty sidekicks to The Tournament of Kings.
The Las Vegas Cliche Checklist: There’s nothing wrong with these iconic Vegas scenes: The Mirage Volcano, the Fremont Street Experience, The Fountains of Bellagio.
FULL BODY EXPERIENCES
Best Spa: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.
Pool Partying: Enjoy refined vibes and topless sunbathing at the Venus European Pool Club, part of Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. Luxuriate at Venus Pool Club cabanas starting at $150. Floating day beds, $200. Lounge chairs $30.
The Hideout at The Golden Nugget. Rooftop infinity pool that’s 21+.
Full Tilt: Didn’t play a single game of chance or skill during your weekend in Las Vegas? Visit the Pinball Hall of Fame. The Pinball hall of Fame is a fraction the size of Las Vegas’ largest cannabis cultivation facility — 10,000 square feet vs. 165,000 square feet — but it’s a big dose of old-school fun. Peruse and play vintage and classic machines from the 1950s to the 1990s. Entry is free but machines cost 25 cents to 50 cents per play. Open until 11 p.m.
Literal Highness: Fly super-hero-style the SlotZilla Zoomline 114 feet off the ground above the Fremont Street Experience, traveling 1,700 feet from the high-rise platform into the Golden Gate casino. SlotZilla Zoomline rides are $45 per person and last approximately one minute. Open until 2 a.m Saturdays.
Go Exotic: Drive a Lamborghini, Ferrari or a Porsche via Dream Racing and Exotics Racing.
Keep Vegas Weird: Let your mind wander in The Harry Mohney Erotic Heritage Museum — a sex-positive exhibition space started by a preacher and an X-rated film maker.
Go Wild: Similar to fantasy, there’s something about communing with nature that pairs well with cannabis, so you might as well go feed some tigers at The Lion Habitat Ranch.
Las Vegas Cannabis Stuff To Do
Get Arty: There are no pot lounges in Las Vegas but you can smoke pot while throwing a pot at a hands-on, bring-your-own cannabis pottery class. Denver-based Puff, Pass, Paint presents a pottery version of its popular painting classes. Also available: pastry classes and magic classes. A two-hour hands-on class in a private location south of McCarran International Airport. Bring your own cannabis. Paraphernalia (rolling papers, bongs and other smoking essentials) provided. 7-9 p.m. Fridays. $39 per person.
Las Vegas Transportation Details
Airport Details: McCarran International Airport is serviced by JetBlue, Virgin America, Alaska, United, Delta, Spirit and Southwest airlines. McCarran now offers “cannabis amnesty” boxes where you can dump your goods before you leave Sin City.
Airport & Ground Transportation Pro Tips: Round-trip flights from Bay Area airports leaving early Friday and returning late Sunday booked via Kayak.com average $250. Unless you’re traveling with a handicapped person and absolutely need to rent a car, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber will cost less per day than a rental car. Uber and Lyft pickup at airport parking garages in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Cannabis tourists are big business for ride services, making wait times for pick up on The Strip reasonable.
Public transportation: From McCarran International Airport, Bus 108 gets you to The Grove dispensary for $2 and continues to The Strip and downtown’s Art District. The Las Vegas Monorail is a short walk away from Essence, The Strip’s only dispensary, and quickly shuttles you to and from major hotels, casinos, restaurants and attractions.
Private companies offer tours of dispensaries, helping you cut the lines, get discounts and collect swag. But don’t expect to toke up on board tour buses, as regulators fear second-hand smoke will affect drivers.