Oliver Lovat assesses how marijuana legalisation could impact Las Vegas casinos.
Nevada has always taken societal stands that have been outside the social norms across the US. Back in the 1930s, ‘quickie’ divorces were established, allowing a no-fault divorce for those that spent six weeks as residents of the state. Many divorcees stayed.
In 1931, Nevada legalised gambling with the famous Assembly Bill 98, which was to define the state forevermore, despite the tiny population at that time. This was to prove pivotal, as federal forces and moral forces cracked down on illegal gambling across the US; Nevada was a bold outlier and built the state’s economy on gaming and tourism.
Today, the hot issue is marijuana. Nevada wasn’t the first. Nebraska decriminalised use in 1978, but it wasn’t until 2014 when recreational use was legalised in several west coast states and Nevada followed suit. On 1 January 2017, all aspects of marijuana production, supply and possession became legal. However, it is not as simple as light up, sit back and chill out, as there are rules in place on use and consumption, which is where the problems currently sit.
Marijuana in Nevada
While this article is not advocating for the legalising of marijuana, the economic benefits have been pronounced. RCG Economics has reported the economic benefits of marijuana amount to more than $1bn per annum. Nearly 10,000 jobs have been created and nearly $150m is taken in annual tax receipts as a result of legalisation.
However, the benefits have not been merely economic. With the industry moving from the shadows to the light, there has been an alleviation of pressure on the criminal justice system containing and prosecuting non-violent crime, thus allowing police to address more serious issues.
For the customer, dispensaries offer a range of product, regulated with guidelines