Nevada May Be OK With Marijuana, But Casinos Don’t Seem To Be

Posted By Jessica Welman on June 22, 2017

[toc]The July 1 start date for Nevada’s new recreational marijuana laws may be less than two weeks away. Don’t go thinking people will be toking up all over the Silver State though. Even though people in the state can use cannabis, casinos are staying far, far away from marijuana and its growing industry.

Wynn supposedly 86es marijuana distributor

Isaac Dietrich is a businessman. He serves as CEO of MassRoots, a company which recently acquired High Times Magazine. If you’re not familiar, High Times is one of the most popular marijuana publications.marijuana-related publication. MassRoots’s broad goal is to bring together companies within the cannabis industry as well as lobby for legalization across the country.

Dietrich recently applied for membership in Wynn Casino’s Red Label rewards program. Like any casino customer rewards program,theoretically every customer is eligible to apply.

According to Dietrich though, not only did Wynn deny his application, the casino banned him from the property. Dietrich spoke with Leafly about the experience, including providing alleged emails from Wynn employee Larry Whelan. According to Dietrich, he questioned the merit of excluding him given that both MassRoots and Wynn Resorts share investors.

Dietrich claims Whelan sent the following response:

“If I recall correctly, the customer due diligence procedures required by the Wynn Las Vegas compliance program identified your business as a marijuana related entity that derives its income from marijuana businesses. Unfortunately, this puts your source of wealth in the marijuana field – as your business is being paid with proceeds from the sale of marijuana.

“Our regulatory requirements are not limited to identifying businesses that facilitate the sale of marijuana – we are obligated to identify the source of wealth of our customers to ensure the funds have been lawfully earned.”

Wynn declined to comment publicly on the story.

Regulators warn casinos to steer clear of marijuana industry

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada regulators are looking into how other states, like Colorado, manage the coexistence of casino and cannabis. Even though the state is looking into it, regulators remain cautious. State officials repeatedly told casino operators to steer clear of marijuana.

A bill allowing public marijuana consumption in Nevada failed to pass. As a result, there actually are not that many places people can legally intake marijuana. Casinos will police guests using marijuana both on the casino floor and in their hotel rooms.

The casino industry is taking a hard line. The question is how long they stick to it? As Dietrich noted, many casinos and marijuana companies do share investors. Moreover, marijuana depositories are rapidly becoming an important part of the Las Vegas tourism industry. With tourism dollars up for grabs, is it really possible for casinos to continue to completely abstain from regulated marijuana?

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Jessica Welman Avatar
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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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