Cannagar Sells for $11,000 to a Very Generous New Year’s Party Host

Last night was a quiet winter evening at NuWu Cannabis Marketplace, one of Las Vegas’ largest dispensaries. The shop sees an average of about 3,000 shoppers per day, but only about 20 were walking the floor of the gigantic 15,800-foot retail space just after 5 p.m. Friday, as history was being made.

‘We’re going to have a hell of a New Year’s celebration,’ Brandon Hawkins said when he handed over $11,000 in cash.

In a back room, Los Angeles restauranteur Brandon Hawkins stood with $11,000 cash, made of six rubber band-held piles of $20 bills.

Hawkins, 36, had flown in from LA earlier that day to make perhaps the largest legal purchase of a cannabis product to date in the United States: the Leira Cannagar.

A cannabis cigar created by Las Vegas cultivator Virtue and production firm Leira rests in a wood grain situation in Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace on Friday, December 28, 2018. (Chris Kudialis for Leafly)

24 Grams Coated With Gold

Resting at a wood-grain box lined with purple velvet, the gigantic smokeable boasted 24 g of locally grown cannabis wrapped in hemp flower, then coated with edible 24-karat silver foliage.

“We’will have a hell of a New Year’s celebration,” Hawkins said. “Frankly, I’ve always been a proponent of the industry and I’m happy that it’s come this far. ”

The six-inch, blossom packed masterpiece was filled with Actual Haze blossom, a sativa-dominant hybrid grown by Las Vegas-based cultivator Virtue. Ariel Payopay, owner of Washington State-based Leira, personally finished off the cigar’s hemp and gold leaf coating, and said it took over two hours to wrap.

Payopay stated the gold turns to ash when smoked, and is safe for consumption.

That is what $11K looks like, in Bennies and twenties.

Friday’s cannagar sale price at NuWu topped the 10,000 cannagar–also created by Leira–sold before this summer in Seattle. After seeing its work in Washington, Ranson Shepherd, co-founder of Virtue, partnered with Leira to create its cannagars in Nevada.

The connection between the Los Angeles buyer, vegas grower, Washington State producer and Native American tribal dispensary was formed at the Las Vegas nightlife sector, they said. Hawkins worked as a nightclub promoter for almost a decade before moving to Los Angeles six years back, as did Shepherd earlier co-founding Virtue. As Shepherd put it, “everyone is connected in some way, shape or form. ”

“We had a chance to jump on the project and get it going and it was a natural fit,” Shepherd said.

Las Vegas Paiute Tribal Councilman Benny Tso, left, poses with Hawkins, Leira founder Ariel Payopay, and Virtue co-founder Ranson Shepherd, at far right.

Hawkins said his spouse ’s curiosity about the cannagar started months before, and he worked carefully with Virtue, Leira and NuWu to time the sale for New Year’s Eve.

Asked whether he thought he and his buddies could smoke the whole cannagar in one sitting, he laughed, adding “it’ll be interesting, but we’re sure going to try. ”

Paiute Store is Thriving

Nuwu, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, is Nevada’s only dispensary to also offer a drive-thru support. Hawkins said parties involved in Friday’s purchase initially discussed making the purchase in the drive through to “prove a point. ”

Instead, Hawkins walked out to the middle of the dispensary shopping area and handed Nuwu budtender Joe Delarosa the cash stacks at one of Nuwu’s 13 points of sale. Delarosa turned around, grabbed the box with the cannagar, shook Hawkins’ hands, and the purchase was official.

Meanwhile, the business went on as normal. Hawkins casually left the facility and thanked the staff.

Benny Tso, tribal council and former chairman of the Las Vegas Paiutes, said Friday’s purchase served to “complement the shop and complement the industry. ” As marijuana consumption lounges go closer to opening in Las Vegas, Tso predicted that exotic cannagars like the merchandise offered Friday will be a normal commodity for VIP customers at the lounges.

“This is exactly what bud table service will look like in Las Vegas,” he said.

Published at Sat, 29 Dec 2018 22:01:45 +0000

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