Willie Nelson products kick off 'mature' marijuana market in Las Vegas

Willie Nelson's brand of marijuana now available in Las Vegas dispensaries. Industry experts say it signals the market's maturity. 2/1/17 (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

Country music legend and marijuana advocate Willie Nelson launched a new line of marijuana products in Las Vegas this week.

Industry experts say the emergence of brand name products signals the maturity of the local marijuana market.

“Willie’s Reserve” was launched in a private party in downtown Las Vegas Tuesday night. The pre-rolled joints are now sold by the pair in medical dispensaries throughout Las Vegas.

“With the packaging on the pre-rolls with Willie’s brand, they took it to the next level,” said Robert Casillas of the Cannacopia dispensary. He said the household name boosts weed’s legitimacy and signals the maturity of the marijuana market.

“With these brands, it's going to be like the alcohol industry. Every brand in the world is going to try and get into Las Vegas since we're the tourist capital of the world,” said Casillas.

It’s an industry gearing up for recreational sales of marijuana in Nevada, which could start this year.

Willie’s brand is already sold in other states along with brands like Bob Marley and Wiz Khalifa. The sampling of popular names is used to attract so-called Cannabis connoisseurs.

However, Casillas said in Las Vegas, it’s about selling the high-roller experience. “Obviously, it's Las Vegas so everything is bigger and better as we like to say,” said Casillas.

Nevada lawmakers will head to Carson City next week to begin work on forming the rules for recreational sales.