Retired Police Officer Opens Dispensary in Vegas

The Apothecarium, a medical marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas, opened for business on Feb. 20, 2016. At the helm of the operation is co-owner Dave Kallas, a retired Las Vegas police officer who had 21 years on the force.

According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kallas retired in 2009 and was diagnosed with an incurable infectious disease three years later. His doctors recommended opioids for pain, but Kallas looked to non-addictive alternatives.

In 2013, Kallas reconsidered medical marijuana’s potential when it became apparent that Nevada was making regulatory progress on the issue of legalization, an issue that voters had approved back in 2000.

Kallas originally partnered with Rich Abajian, a local executive at Findlay Automotive Group, who was also interested in entering the medical marijuana industry as a way of offering relief to patients in need of alternatives.

Kallas and Abajian then partnered with Ryan Hudson, founder and owner of The Apothecarium in San Francisco, to submit an application for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Clark County, which the group was later awarded.

On Feb. 9, Abajian passed away after suffering a heart attack. “He was my boss. He was my friend. He was my mentor,” Kallas said.

Kallas is committed to Abajian’s belief that The Apothecarium can help the people of Las Vegas. “We’re here to help people buy medicine that will provide them the relief that they have not been able to get,” he said.

As reported by KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas, the dispensary also provides Kallas with a new way to protect and serve his community.

“I am continuing with that philosophy because we’re protecting people from going places that they probably shouldn’t be going, and we are serving our community because we’re providing an outlet for those patients to get the best quality care that they can with this type of medication,” Kallas said.

Following the opening on Feb. 20, The Apothecarium held an official ribbon-cutting on Feb. 22. U.S. Rep. Dina Titus and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce attended the ceremony.


Caroline Cahill was the Managing Editor of MJINews from June 2014 through February 2018. She earned her BA in Communications from College of Charleston and her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. You can follow her on Twitter @CtheresaC.

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