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The buzz at CES 2019 came from the 'world's largest pot dispensary'

Planet 13 bills itself as the globe's biggest purveyor of recreational cannabis. And like other Las Vegas businesses, it's big and showy.

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James Martin
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1 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Floating orbs, interactive lotus flowers. This is a marijuana dispensary like no other.

Sitting in the shadow of the Las Vegas strip at CES 2019, where everything is bigger and brighter, Planet 13 is on a mission to overhaul the recreational marijuana experience.

The company has a 15,000 square-foot showroom that offers more than 70 strains of cannabis from over 50 retail vendors. Planet 13 says that's just the beginning.

Its building has another 100,000 square feet waiting for the next phase. Plans are already underway to open a smoking lounge and nightclub: a 24/7 sensory marijuana experience that only Vegas could dream up.

Recreational marijuana became legal in Nevada in January 2017. It didn't take long for the pot industry to step up its game.

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2 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Planet 13 has an open, airy lobby that includes an interactive, pressure-sensitive floor with images that morph as you walk across it.

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3 of 19 James Martin/CNET

During last week's CES 2019, Planet 13 drew the tech crowd by hosting a VR festival at the dispensary. Here, a man lost in his own world plays popular VR game Chicken and Waffles.

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4 of 19 James Martin/CNET

You get started at Planet 13 by signing in at one of the Apple iPad stations. Meanwhile, you await a personalized "budtender" assistant who will walk you through the shopping experience.

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5 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Two VR festival attendees play a virtual reality version of the classic Atari game Pong, first released in 1972.

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6 of 19 James Martin/CNET

The dispensary showroom floor is currently more than 15,000 square feet. The building spans 112,000 square feet and the company plans to add a smoking lounge, nightclub and other recreational and shopping facilities.

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7 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Some of the marijuana flowers on display at Planet 13.

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8 of 19 James Martin/CNET

This color wheel helps customers navigate the varied strains of marijuana available. You start by choosing from broader qualities like "Effect" or "Aroma" and eventually more specific flavors and taste profiles that suit what's right for you.

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9 of 19 James Martin/CNET

The wheel then points buyers to specific strains of marijuana that are best for the qualities they want. 

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10 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Floating above the showroom floor, five color-changing orb drones fly in choreographed formations.

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11 of 19 James Martin/CNET

You shop the products at Planet 13 via an iPad menu mounted at the end of each display case.

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12 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Modern marijuana isn't all smoked. These are peppermint, blood orange and chamomile herbal teas infused with cannabidiol, better known as CBDa cannabis compound that doesn't make people feel "stoned."

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13 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Here is Evergreen Organix's THC cookie of the month. THC,or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.

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14 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Two Roots is the world's first de-alcoholized craft beer that's been infused with cannabis.

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A panel of virtual reality industry experts discuss location-based VR entertainment.

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One of the budtenders in red -- there to assist shoppers -- helps a customer navigate the hundreds of choices at Planet 13.

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17 of 19 James Martin/CNET

A virtual DJ projected onto a mesh screen spins music at the end of the hall.

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18 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Lining the roof are 13 LED lotus flowers that stand 15 feet high -- interactive art that can be controlled by Planet 13 visitors.

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19 of 19 James Martin/CNET

The red-shirted budtenders assist customers through the dispensary's products.

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