Federal guidelines hurting Las Vegas dispensaries - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Federal guidelines hurting Las Vegas dispensaries

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Dispensaries holding large amounts of cash in Las Vegas are targets for thieves. (FOX5) Dispensaries holding large amounts of cash in Las Vegas are targets for thieves. (FOX5)

Inside Jardin Dispensary on West Desert Inn, there's a lot of green. It's not just the pot, but lots of cash too.

"We see about 500 customers every day," Jessica Arrizon said. The dispensary is doing so well in the first month of recreational sales that it's expanding.

"We are looking to expand, I need 10 to 15 people like right now, like I would hire them today," Arrizon said. 

Despite their booming business, Jardin and other dispensaries in Nevada have been facing huge hurdles, especially when it comes to what they can do with all their profits. 

"We are paying our employees in cash, there are a lot of issues. (The banks) don't look at us as a legal entity," Arrizon explained. 

The unwillingness of banks to work with dispensaries means all transactions are cash. 

"I do not know one bank that is open to marijuana business," Sen. Tick Segerblom (D) said. Banks are federally insured, and under federal guidelines marijuana is still a schedule one drug similar to heroine or ecstasy.

"We need the federal government to step up to the plate and say 'banks accept this money,'" he said.

Furthermore, because dispensaries are dealing in only cash, it's making them a target for thieves. Saturday night, around 4:00 a.m. four men tried to rob the Black Jack collective dispensary. Sen. Segerblom said the federal government needs to buck up and accept the fact that marijuana is legal, and needs to assist marijuana businesses throughout the country with banking guidelines. 

But until then, staff at dispensaries like Jardin said they are taking matters into their own hands with armed security guards, and multiple surveillance systems.

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