When the first American recreational marijuana dispensaries opened in Colorado, most patrons were just happy to have a legit outlet to purchase their bud. Beyond a decent menu, there was little expectation for pot shops to offer anything resembling a high-end experience. These days, however, there’s a lot more competition. Around the country, the best dispensaries promise smartly dressed, well-educated “budtenders,” designer decors, and a boutique shopping environment. With more discerning shoppers in mind, Las Vegas’ newest dispensary is not only a great place to buy your toke, but it’s a full-fledged entertainment outlet as well.
Situated a mile off the Vegas strip, Planet 13 is the city’s newest, largest, and most elaborate dispensary. Co-CEO Bob Groesbeck notes the inspiration for the name stems from “M” (as in “marijuana”) being the 13th letter of the alphabet — a branding decision that could only have come from the minds of quasi-existentialist stoners.
They chose “Planet” simply because this is one massive head shop. Amid its 16,500 square feet of dedicated retail space, visitors will find plenty of typical cannabis wares including edibles, tinctures, extracts, CBD-infused products, and, of course, flowers. There’s a dizzying selection of cannabis-related accessories including pipes, grinders, and vape pens as well. The 42 cash registers make it feel more like a jumbo-sized pot supermarket than an ordinary head shop.
However, Planet 13 is looking to be a destination-worthy entertainment outlet in its own right. On the roof of the building, 13 large, “blooming,” LED-lit lotus flowers hint at the fact that this is no ordinary dispensary. Visitors use control panels near a fog-shrouded fountain at the entrance to change the colors of the multimedia, interactive flower display. Inside, amid the sea of cannabis-centric display cases, guests will find colorful, motion-activated floors, trippy orb light fixtures hovering overhead, and a massive 3-D projection wall depicting a continuous array of kaleidoscopic patterns.
Visitors won’t find anywhere to “recreate” with their purchases on the premises. Nevada’s 2017 laws prohibit the use of recreational marijuana in any public place, including its many casinos, resorts, and cannabis dispensaries. Planet 13 is actively lobbying to change the law, however, with the hope of allowing customers to enjoy their purchases legally in an onsite marijuana lounge.
Planet 13 Las Vegas has been open since November 1, 2018, and welcomes anyone at least 21-years-old 24 hours a day, seven days a week.