Saturday, April 20 was a special day for Pahrump’s sole marijuana dispensary.
April 20th, or 4/20, according to Grove Manager Zach Wright, is known primarily for individuals meeting up to smoke pot at 4:20 p.m., each day.
As such, Wright held a special customer appreciation event, observing 4/20 at the business at 1541 E. Basin Ave.
An early start
“I got here at 4:30 this morning to set up the tents and by 8:30 a.m., we had a line all the way down the sidewalk,” Wright said. “We had over 20 different specials going on, plus we gave away a bunch of different raffle items. We had great music, we’ve got my beautiful, handsome face and all of my beautiful staff. We just want to show our appreciation to all of our customers and celebrate this special day with them. It’s been a very busy here today.”
Though recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada several years ago, the federal government classifies it as what’s known as a Schedule 1 substance, sharing the category with substances such as cocaine, heroin and LSD.
Taking it to the bank
Due to the classification, marijuana dispensaries must be a cash-only business, thus blocking the dispensaries access to banking institutions.
U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, recently introduced a bipartisan bill which would allow banking access to licensed cannabis businesses operating in states that have legalized the sale of marijuana, including Nevada.
Just last month, Senator Rosen, D-Nevada, hosted a roundtable with local marijuana businesses, where she discussed her recent efforts to support economic growth and heard from Nevada’s legally-operating marijuana businesses about the importance of access to banking and other financial services, according to a news release.
“While our state has benefited from the new businesses, additional jobs, and increased tax revenue from the legalization and regulation of marijuana, businesses are still being held back by federal laws that block access to financial institutions and services,” said Senator Rosen. “I co-sponsored the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (SAFE), to continue supporting the growth of our state’s marijuana businesses.”
“We appreciate Senator Rosen’s legislative support in working to get our businesses access to financial services,” said John Ritter, board member of the Nevada Dispensary Association. “We’re grateful to Senator Rosen for championing this issue in Congress, and working to protect new business and revenue for our state.”
Wait and see
Wright, meanwhile noted that he’s hopeful of the bill becoming law, but he’s not exactly holding his breath.
“It’s hard for me to call because I just don’t know how the current administration feels about it,” he said. “I have no partisan agenda to represent, but I don’t know if it’s possible right now with the current administration we have in place. Maybe it would be, we’ll have to wait and see. I also hope Uncle Sam sees that there is a lot of tax dollars to be raised.”
In the beginning
Wright also provided his own thoughts on the creation of 4/20 Day.
“There are so many different stories and myths,” he said. “I heard there was a group of young people back in the 1970s who were trying to find a mythical marijuana grove out in the forests of Humboldt County, California. It is said they met after high school at 4:20 p.m. every day to go look for it. I have also heard that 4/20 is the call signal for marijuana possession for certain police agencies.
“To be quite honest, I have heard all kinds of different things regarding 4/20, but to me, it’s just about friendship, unity and coming together for this cause, and this all-natural and healing plant. Whether you have a medical marijuana card or not, it gives you some type of relief from day-to-day stress and physical ailments. This plant is a miracle for many people, and if you and I have nothing else in common, we can unite over that.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes
At a glance
Go to pvtimes.com to read more about the Grove marijuana dispensary, including it recently celebrating its third anniversary in Pahrump