Don't bet on high times in Atlantic City casinos when marijuana is legal – Press of Atlantic City

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The Botanist, a medical marijuana dispensary, sits within a short walking distance of Resorts Casino Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort.

Matthew Strabuk / For The Press David Danzis

Anyone who came within a slight ocean breeze of Atlantic City’s beaches or Boardwalk this summer, has stayed on a hotel floor with smoking rooms or played at a packed blackjack table on a weekend night knows marijuana is being smoked in and around casinos.

The distinctive aroma has been wafting around Atlantic City for years, and tourists could be excused for mistakenly believing that using marijuana was already permitted in the resort.

And that was before New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing recreational cannabis in November.

While the framework of a taxable, regulated cannabis industry is still working its way through the legislative process in Trenton, the Garden State is just weeks away from legally lighting up.

But visitors to Atlantic City’s nine casinos should not expect a drastic shift in the way gambling parlors approach marijuana, according to industry experts and lawmakers.

{child_flags:top_story}{child_flags:topical}{child_flags:breaking}Smoking is currently banne…

“I don’t think there’s going to be any real major change,” said Dan Heneghan, an industry consultant and retired spokesperson for the state Casino Control Commission. “The blind eye that (casinos) turn to that will just be opened.”

The Casino Association of New Jersey did not have an official position on the topic since New Jersey’s recreational marijuana regulations have not be finalized.

The prime sponsor of New Jersey’s 200-page recreational marijuana bill, state Sen.

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