Once the last of my work meetings has concluded, it was time to unwind. Right now, I live in a state that will probably be one of the very last states to legalize recreational marijuana, so when I visit one of the “green” states, I always try to visit a dispensary to sample the local and LEGAL goods. Because, when in Rome…
So where do I go in a city that has more than 20 marijuana dispensaries (nearly 50 across all of Clark County)? I start the way I do searching for good food; I ask the locals and do deep research online. I was actually in a Lyft ride on the way to another dispensary that shall go unnamed, but my very chatty driver convinced me that Planet 13 was head and heels better than my choice. With this local making her case so passionately, vouching for the potency of the product, and raving about their class act customer service, I picked up my phone and re-routed the trip.
When we got to the front of Planet 13, my first thought was it is massive! The building is about the length and depth of a Best Buy, and that comparison does not end with size. In the front of the building, there is a large fountain with a huge red ball in the middle of it adorned with “Planet 13.” This was certainly the most popular spot for selfies.
As my Lyft driver rolls up, a very Vegas-y thing happens: She gets some sort of kickback (maybe a coupon) from a Planet 13 employee whose job is to stand in front of the store to “take care” of those dropping off customers. Now I am getting flashbacks to my early experiences with Las Vegas clubs, where drivers are incentivized to vouch for often-inferior establishments. I am now doubting heeding my driver’s advice, but I’ve come too far. Besides, I could smell that good stuff wafting through the air.
Once I got in, I was directed to a line to show my ID card to one of four employees at a “security/check-in desk.” The line was organized and moved quickly. The Planet 13 employee prints out, hands you a piece of paper with a barcode, and directs you down a wide hallway towards the shopping area. You scan your barcode on an individual turnstile to make your way into the shopping area.
Damn. This place is huge! This is where the Best Buy comparison continues. Warehouse-high ceilings, flashing displays, and a swarming crowd. There are about six rows of glass cases containing merchandise displayed like jewelry. Planet 13 organizes each case by product type – one for edibles, one for flowers, one for CBD products, one for vapes, etc. I have visited half a dozen dispensaries in California, Washington, Colorado, and Nevada, and this establishment had the most selection by far. “Budtenders” stood behind counters wrapping around the perimeter of the shopping area.
After acclimating myself to my surroundings, I asked a budtender how this all worked. There are two options. The first option is for folks that have questions on the products. In this case, you go to one of their kiosks, type in your name, and the kiosk prints out a ticket with a number. Once your number is announced on an intercom, you go to a specific budtender, and they provide guidance. The kiosk also tells you approximately how long your wait is, and mine was 45 minutes. Fortunately, there is a second option: enter the express line, which is designed for people that know exactly what they want. I jumped into that line, but apparently, a ton of customers knew exactly what they wanted that day. I think I saved about 10 minutes in wait time. But it was all good.
While in line, I kept repeating what I wanted to order to myself in fear of the weed version of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. I also had time to engage in some quality people watching. To me, it is fascinating to see the great diversity among cannabis connoisseurs. There were people in suits and shorts, dreads and pampadours, young millennials and older baby boomers, and every ethnicity you could imagine. And we were all friendly to one another. If anything can bring about peace on earth, it is weed. But I digress.
The vast selection at Planet 13 shows you the many ways one can ingest cannabis. There were dozens of strains of flower, each accompanied by a written description that included indica/sativa split and THC percentage. Other products for smokers included pre-rolls and vape equipment. All were very tempting, but there is a law in Vegas limiting smoking marijuana to private residences; therefore, I picked up two packs of gummy edibles and a root beer containing 100mg of THC for about $60 total. Not a bad haul. This would later prove to be a case of my stomach (and bloodstream) being bigger than my eyes, because I had to leave at least half of my purchase in my hotel room with a flight the next day. Las Vegas hotel cleaning staff must stay lit.
Conclusion and Rating
I will provide more details about my very interesting experience that night in a later post, but the quality of the product was deliciously potent. Take my and my Lyft driver’s advice: hit up Planet 13 when in Vegas! My only recommendation for improvement is making it crystal clear to new customers who should seek out a budtender and who should go to the express line. Minor knock though. Someone new to Best Buy could get just as confused.
PLANET 13 INFORMATION
OTHER LAS VEGAS CONTENT