Reno businesses get hella high

Local businesses cater to stoners

RENO, Nev.—After Nevadans voted in 2016 to legalize recreational marijuana, dispensaries throughout the state were expected to begin selling to the public in July 2017, but after Gov. Brian Sandoval signed an executive order March 25 in an effort to boost innovative boosterism, businesses that cross-brand marijuana and other needed products or services have gotten the green light to launch pot sales on April 1.

The WWN&R dropped in on a few of these businesses to get a sense of what local merchants have in store.

Blümlaut Dispensary & Copy Edüting Sürvices

For writers, the old adage used to be, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” At Blümlaut, midtown’s largest dispensary, the new adage is, “Don’t worry. Be happy. And especially don’t worry about spelling. That’s for uptight, geriatric jerks.”

“It’s all about the look,” said lead budtender Buddie Sales as she put down her mason jar of kombucha on an artisan coaster made of free-range buffalo hide and resumed the knitting project she carries everywhere. “People don’t really read anymore. They mostly just look at stuff. Our clients grew up on Tumblr and Snapchat, not the freakin’ Merriam-Webster app.”

As is often the case, ironic ennui was the mother of invention. During Blümlaut’s brand-development phase, a bored marketing intern started doodling assorted letters and flourishes on the mission statement.

“We loved the way it looked,” said Sales. “And those exotic, Euro-trash dots really resonated with our beta testers. So we decided to roll with it. Get it? Roll? Pun totally intended. Haha. Anyway, we adopted extraneous umlauts as a marketing strategy, and now we’re the busiest pot shop in town. If you come in to buy a joint or a pot-laced lemon bar, we’ll also take a look at your term paper or slick memes or whatever you’re writing. We’ll make some great-looking dots on it for you.”

Have any clients had term papers marked down for “creative” spelling?

“We’re very serious about our change-the-world attitude, so we took care of that,” said Sales. “We launched a campaign to encourage students to inundate Rate My Professor with demands that UNR no longer grade for traditional spelling. We had T-shirts and buttons and booty shorts that said, ’Don’t Be-Rate Me.’ You’ve probably seen them around a lot.”

“I have to tell you one more thing that makes Blümlaut amazing,” Sales added. “Our corporate motto is ’We should kick ass really, really hard.’ So what we do to ensure that we kick ass really, really hard is—we give every client a handcrafted origami box made of recycled, locally sourced, organic rolling papers, and we fill it with our favorite stoner treat, an oversized cookie from Höma’ge.”

Starlite Kitten Ranch

Business has been steady at the Starlite Kitten Ranch since it opened in 1955, and more than brisk since the now-famous Nevada brothel became the setting for HBO’s Meowhaüs series. That’s because proprietor Denise Huff knows how to smell opportunity—and since Gov. Sandoval’s March executive order, opportunity has smelled like an herbaceous, skunky waft.

“You can buy a Glock 22 and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Sour Mash in the same store,” said Huff, gently taking a perfectly rolled spliff from a custom Waterford crystal case with a gesture that was half Grace Kelly and half John Wayne. “There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to procure a joint and a blow job at the same place.” She saw the governor’s order on Twitter and, within about 15 minutes, had the Kitten Ranch’s website updated to include the Blow this Joint combo deal.

“Ask anyone,” Huff said. “That is a better, safer, smarter combination than a firearm and crappy, astringent whiskey that burns your throat. I’m resolutely confident that my combo deal will lead to fewer violent crimes than Walmart’s combo deal. Actually, I’ll bet you it’ll be zero. I’ll bet you a hundo right now.” She offered a hundred dollar bill from a roll that she keeps in her jacket pocket and an eager, firm handshake to signify that she was serious about the bet.

Huff said she’s not legally allowed to quote prices but clarified that the Blow this Joint combo deal is cheaper than bail. She added that in the short three days the combo deal has been on the menu, clients have flown in from as far away as Florida and Rhode Island, and she’s had to purchase a queue system ticket dispenser like the ones at the DMV or the butcher shop.

Chip Garcia’s Quik Galleria

“No! I am not an ice cream flavor from Vermont!” bellowed midtown convenience store owner Chip Garcia. “That is my bona fide, actual, really for real, god-given name. I swear I’m not bullshitting you.” He often uses that line, punctuated with a guffaw or two, to introduce himself to customers when they even so much as glance at his nametag.

Garcia, like all Nevada convenience store proprietors, is planning to stock a range of pot products near the cash register. So far, however, his is the only store in town to have applied for a Disco Floor Permit.

“Because like 90 percent of my customers are stoned,” Garcia explained. “They say the funniest stuff. And they mix it up, you know? One minute some dork is whistling the tune to the Grateful Dead lyric that’s on his Tinder profile, then the next minute this lady comes in and asks me if I can see her words hanging in the air like thin rails of fog. It’s sort of stupid and sort of poetic. It’s all really funny. But the funniest thing that happens in here—and it happens, I swear to god, like 56 times a day—is when someone comes in too stoned to find the ice cream freezer.”

Garcia said that during a full moon it might happen more like 92 times a day, and that it has him in chuckles every single time. (At Garcia’s last medical check-up, in 2015, his doctor told him that anyone who laughs that much will probably live to be 110.)

“This has been happening like clockwork ever since I bought this franchise in 2005,” he said. “So, as soon as that Measure 2 passed, I had the greatest epiphany of my life.” He decided to install 14 three-foot-long, blinking, green arrows in the floor tiles that point the way to the ice cream freezer.

“Sorry, I hate to do this, but I have to toot my own horn for a second here,” said Garcia. “I’m not usually a big bragger, but you have to admit this is a genius maneuver. Even if stoned shoppers are so disoriented they forget what they came in here looking for, the green lights will distract them, and they’ll follow the arrows to the ice cream no matter what. I might have to get ice cream deliveries twice a day come summer.”

Garcia has also asked Gov. Sandoval to consider an executive order that would allow the store’s security camera footage to be aired as reality television.

“You say we’re a business-friendly state, man,” he said, grinning into a webcam near the ceiling. “How about it, Gov?”