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Las Vegas Unveils Unusual First Cannabis Residency

Cannabis fans seeking weed-themed entertainment finally have an event in Las Vegas that they might love.

MAR 19, 2023 4:40 PM EDT

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Adult freedom and indulging in multiple pleasures have been Las Vegas themes ever since gambling was legalized again in Nevada on March 19, 1931. Gambling had been outlawed in 1910 after being a legal activity, but Sin City has enjoyed 92 years of living on the edge since gaming became legal again.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in 2020 adopted a new variation of its former catchphrase "What Happens Here, Stays Here," which Sin City began promoting in one of marketing's most successful advertising campaigns in 2003. The new slogan for tourism adopted in January 2020 is: "What Happens Here, Only Happens Here." The catchphrase might suggest anything goes in Sin City, but among the vices remaining illegal on Las Vegas Strip are prostitution, though sex-for-hire is legal in some parts of Nevada, and smoking pot. You can't legally smoke pot in public in Las Vegas, though you can possess cannabis and legally smoke it in a private residence.

Cannabis Rules Loosening Up

However, things are loosening up for the cannabis crowd in Las Vegas as the city's biggest cannabis dispensary, Planet 13, recently won approval to open a first-of-its-kind marijuana smoking lounge off the Strip.

Planet 13 will also be convenient for cannabis fans seeking 420-themed events as the venue is not far from entertainment venue Area 15, which will present performances that might cater to the tastes of the dispensary's customers.

Las Vegas entertainment venue Area 15 will host an unusual cannabis-themed performance residency with magician Ben Zabin ready to blow the minds of his audience, whether stoned or sober, with his show, "Smokus Pocus."

Zabin, a former weed dealer, claims to have been a magician all his life and has spent the last 15 years performing over 1,000 magic shows for global audiences, according to his website. The self-described cannabis connoisseur dropped out of college to do magic shows on cruise ships while also running a strong weed business.

'Smokus Pocus' Coming to Vegas

The magician in May 2021 combined his passions of cannabis and magic to create his "Smokus Pocus" show in his hometown of Portland, Ore., and has continued taking the show on tour through the US, with multiple sold-out extended runs in Brooklyn, N.Y. He also launched a Canadian franchise of the show.

"Cannabis plants will appear, lighters will come to life, and bongs will bend reality in this immersive performance experience designed to enthrall both the stoned and sober," the "Smokus Pocus" website asserts.

“Both stoned and sober audience members love the magical high,” Zabin said in a statement. “While many arrive baked, all will leave bewildered.”

The Area 15 website calls the show a "mind-blowing experience of tokes, jokes, and tricks which has enthralled thousands of cannabis enthusiasts throughout the US and Canada. Join the Dank Debauchery at Area 15 and experience the first 420-themed attraction in Las Vegas!"

Zabin's "Smokus Pocus" has scheduled performances in Oklahoma City on March 24 and Tulsa, Okla., on March 25 before bringing the show to Area 15 in Las Vegas of a two-month residency from April 15 through June 15. Showtimes for performances are set for 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with doors opening a half hour before showtime. Tickets are $45 for VIP tickets that include access to the first two rows or $30 for general admission.

Guests must be 21 years of age or older with a valid identification for admission. Cannabis product will not be sold and consuming cannabis is not permitted inside the venue.


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