An employee lines up cannabis products at Essence Vegas Cannabis Dispensary after the start of recreational marijuana sales began on July 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: (AFP)
'Amsterdam on steroids' is the way it was characterised by long-time marijuana legalisation advocate and Democratic state Senator Tick Segerblom
Long lines snaked out of marijuana dispensaries in Nevada on Saturday, as the western US state became the latest to legalise recreational pot.
Nevada joins Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska as states where recreational marijuana sales are permitted. While pot is legal in several other states, it is governed by complicated local laws and still illegal according to federal law.
Legal marijuana sales are sure to be a boon to the economy of Nevada's largest city, Las Vegas, bolstering its reputation as an "anything goes" party town for millions of visitors from around the world.
"I'll bet the state makes a cool million $ this weekend," tweeted Democratic state Senator Tick Segerblom, who has been called the "patriarch" for marijuana legalisation.
i'll bet the state makes a cool million $ this weekend https://t.co/S1JOiDIhTa— Tick Segerblom (@tsegerblom) July 1, 2017
"This is a game-changer for Las Vegas and tourism here as far as I'm concerned," he told the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, adding, "Amsterdam on steroids."
Destiny Diaz was in line for nearly three hours at the Jardin Premium Cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas, waiting for the law to go into effect at midnight on Saturday.
Various types of cannabis are displayed at Essence Vegas Cannabis Dispensary before the midnight start of recreational marijuana sales on June 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)
"It's a great day and something people have been waiting a long time for," she told the Sun. "We weren't going to miss this.
Under Nevada's new law, adults 21 and older can purchase up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana or up to one-eighth ounce of marijuana concentrates per day.
Las Vegas police posted a list of dos and don'ts in the newly marijuana-friendly state.
"Know the law! Here's a few things to remember," it said, pointing out that it is illegal to smoke or consume pot in public, to drive while high, or to give or sell it to those under age 21.