Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps, much like its east coast counterpart so famously associated with that saying. So much of the service industry workforce in Vegas is on an overnight shift and can't shop themselves in regular work hours. They need to go sleep after that 12-hour shift ends at 8 a.m. - not shop for groceries and other essentials...or buy cannabis products.
THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace recognized that, and they’ve responded accordingly. As of October 1, the medical marijuana dispensary in North Las Vegas is officially open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“About three months ago, we started receiving an outcry from our patients… [many of whom] work in the service industry here in Vegas,” said THRIVE CEO Mitch Britten.
“Now [they won’t have to] go home at 8 a.m., go to sleep, and interrupt their normal sleep pattern to come in and shop during our hours.”
THRIVE isn’t the only 24/7 dispensary in Vegas; Reef Dispensaries also transitioned to 24/7 hours in August. Britten says that Vegas is a unique, something they found out when they looked into Nevada's regulations on hours of operation for cannabis businesses.
“We originally applied to the state of Nevada to be open the maximum amount of hours allowed by the jurisdiction, and North Las Vegas was the only jurisdiction in the state that allowed for 24-hour operation, so we got granted that timetable when we were originally given our license,” said Britten.
“It’s taken us this long to see the demand and meet the demand… I think there are one or two dispensaries nationwide that are 24 hours a day, but it’s really kind of an anomaly in this industry.”
It may be rare for these kinds of businesses to operate around the clock, but the mere fact that THRIVE was granted permission to do so represents a shift in societal attitudes about medical marijuana, believes Britten. In November, Nevada will be one of five states voting on the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the U.S. election.
“I think the significance to this is just that it [represents] a more widespread acceptance of the industry, and a recognition of [medical marijuana] as an alternative medicine that you should be able to access whenever you need it,” said Britten, who expects a considerable increase in the dispensary’s daily patients with the new hours.
“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to see somewhere in the neighbourhood of 250 to 400 patients a day… [up from] between 130 to 200,” said Britten.
“I’ve always been a firm believer in safe access to affordable cannabis and I think this really helps drive that message home, that we’ll be here to provide safe medicine at all hours of the day… there’s a real big need for it, and I’m excited to provide it.”
Banner image: Vox Solid Communications / Flickr.com