Nevada Interrupted: Budtenders hit the road as legal marijuana goes delivery-only – The Nevada Independent

Wysouri “Z” Smith, a budtender at Las Vegas’ Curaleaf dispensary for a little more than a year, said he came to love the experience of talking with customers about their day, helping them find the right cannabis product and eventually knowing their names and favorite orders by heart.

But a statewide shutdown order for nonessential businesses, which directed cannabis businesses to do delivery only and will extend well past marijuana’s famed 4/20 “holiday,” has turned his day-to-day on its head. He now spends his shifts driving orders around town, donning a pair of gloves and a face mask before exchanging cannabis for cash, and keeping the chit chat to a minimum to maintain social distance.

“We try to make the transaction pretty quick, as quick as possible, get it in, get it out,” said Smith, 28. “We don’t really want to have a full conversation.” 

Wysouri “Z” Smith is a budtender at Curaleaf dispensary in Las Vegas who has transitioned to doing delivery-only. Photo courtesy Curaleaf.

He’s one of five or six Curaleaf employees who have transitioned to delivery drivers after the state’s announcement. In the highly regulated world of the legal cannabis industry, the approval involves a state inspection of a delivery vehicle — something that regulators are now doing virtually, by examining emailed photos and videos of specific employee and vehicle documents and the vehicle itself.

After a little back and forth with the state about the images that were submitted, Smith got the green light and has been up and running.

Amid the great uncertainty of the pandemic, Smith said many customers are stocking up on cannabis because they don’t know if conditions might change and whether they’ll have access to the dispensary and its products going forward. Most are ordering flower — a half an ounce,

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