TAM of Nevada Now Offering Online Nevada Marijuana Compliance Course

NMC CourseIt’s official! In July 2017 legal recreational marijuana sales began across the state of Nevada. Do you know all of the new rules that can affect you? You can now register for the 30-minute online Nevada Marijuana Compliance Course to get up to speed on what’s new and need to know.

TAM of Nevada is offering this brand new online course, developed by O/E Learning. This new course can help you prepare for new and coming changes in the legal cannabis industry here in Nevada.

This training is the perfect introduction for employees of marijuana-based businesses, or for anyone who wants to learn more about the ins and outs of this new industry and laws. This interactive course includes fun animated scenarios and practical information for sales professionals.

While Nevada regulations are still in flux and may not be completely defined until sometime in 2018, this course gives you the foundation you need to be prepared. Objectives include:

  1. Understand the laws for legal possession and use of marijuana in Nevada.
  2. Recognize and recite the effects of marijuana, and the synergistic effects when combined with other drugs.
  3. Perform a successful I.D. check or diligent inquiry.
  4. Recognize the signs of visible intoxication for marijuana sales professionals.

Visit the TAM of Nevada website to learn more and get enrolled!


Caution – New Device Allows Users to Inhale Alcohol for Quick and Powerful Effects on the Body

Hospitality JobsAlcohol sales professionals have an obligation to serve alcohol responsibly. As such, any responsible seller of alcoholic beverages should be aware of a new product which hit the shelves in December, the Vaportini™. Working like a traditional vaporizer, this new product heats up alcohol with a votive candle, and releases the vapors into a small chamber which the user inhales through a straw.

There is an increased risk of serious intoxication with this device, especially if used irresponsibly. The Vaportini works by bypassing the digestive system and causing alcohol to be absorbed directly to the bloodstream through the lungs. Normally, when a person consumes an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol is absorbed primarily through the stomach and small intestine. The presence of food slows this process further. Food in the stomach keeps alcohol in the stomach for a longer period of time which means that it will be absorbed into the bloodstream at a much slower rate. This is why it’s advisable to offer your patrons a snack or a meal while they are imbibing. However, when alcohol is inhaled, it enters the lungs and goes directly into the bloodstream, causing effects much more quickly and inducing a powerful buzz.

Worth nothing is that the Vaportini shares some similarities with the Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) device, a nebulizer which mixes alcohol with pure oxygen. The AWOL device debuted in 2004 and was quickly banned in over 20 states, including Nevada (Nevada Revised Statutes). Alcohol vaporizers like the AWOL are illegal in Nevada, so make sure you are up to date with your TAM® training, and maintain a thorough knowledge of applicable local and state laws.

The novelty of inhaled alcohol is especially attractive to young adults and teens, especially when the Vaptorini retails at a price of only about $35. Peer pressure is a constant concern among young people. Teens want to fit in, and alcohol is not only easily accessible to many, it can also contribute to the party atmosphere at celebratory events. For additional tips to help combat alcohol consumption among teen drinkers, check out our blog post, “Teen Drinking is a Dangerous Business.”

Are you concerned about the potential dangers of alcohol vaporizers such as the Vaportini?


© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Club Drugs: A Growing Problem in Casinos and Industry Hot Spots

Drug use continues to rise in our casinos, clubs, pools, concert venues and bars. The Gaming Control Board has alerted casinos and other establishments that this behavior will not be tolerated (State of Nevada Gaming Control Board). Is it possible to deal more effectively with this growing problem? Use of club drugs such as ecstasy, ketamine, GHB, and others is on the rise and establishments are tasked with working to keep patrons safe, so it is imperative that staff knows how to spot and deal with these risky behaviors. Do you know how to spot and effectively deal with customers who are under the influence of drugs?

As a bartender or server, there are certain things you should watch for to spot any patrons who may be engaging in and promoting dangerous drug use:

  • Watch for customers who are behaving erratically or exhibit symptoms of possibly being under the influence of drugs such as loss of coordination, dizziness, fainting, confusion or slurred speech (SAMHSA).
  • Be alert. If you suspect that your patron may have smuggled in and used club drugs at your establishment, you should treat them just as you would with someone who has had too much to drink. Alert your manager or supervisor so that they can intervene if necessary.
  • Remember, some club drugs such as Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Given this, it is even more important to gauge a customer and situation before serving an alcoholic beverage.
  • Always check your employee handbook or company policies regarding how your employer handles these types of situations. You need to be aware of both company policies and you may have to report any suspicious behavior or anything that makes you uncomfortable to a manger. There may even be rules dictating that the person is escorted safely off of the property.

You can learn more about managing patrons from seasoned industry professionals with real-world experience by taking the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM) ® course offered by TAM® of Nevada. How have you chosen to identify and respond to situations of club drug use?


© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada


Risky Business – How to Spot & Deal with Alcohol-Drug Interactions

Cold and flu season is upon us. Pharmacies and doctors’ offices alike are filled with people picking up antibiotic prescriptions and over-the-counter products to fight their symptoms. However, a cough or cold won’t always stop someone from going out with friends or family for dinner and drinks. Unfortunately, mixing alcohol and medications can be harmful and dangerous.

Complications caused by drinking-and-drug interactions sent 524,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms in 2008 alone for treatment (View Source). As a server or bartender it’s not only important to be aware of the risks associated with mixing drugs and alcohol, but also how to spot this risky behavior in your bar and restaurant patrons.

Medications used to treat allergies such as Benadryl and other antihistamines can cause drowsiness, clumsiness or lightheadedness. One should be aware that mixing antihistamines with a few drinks can greatly increase these effects and make it dangerous for driving and may cause the patron to show signs of intoxication much quicker, which could result in disturbances, undesirable behavior or fights.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs aren’t the only drugs that can have risky interactions with alcohol. The same holds true for a multitude of prescription drugs including antibiotics, anticoagulants and antidepressants. Effects can range from headache and vomiting to lasting results such as liver damage and risk of overdose.

As a bartender or server, there are a few easy steps you can take in your establishment to help protect against potentially disastrous outcomes associated with drug and alcohol interactions. Every medicine is different, and while only a doctor or pharmacist can definitively gauge the risks and possible interactions in any one individual, there are certain things you should watch for to spot any patrons who may be dangerously mixing medications and alcohol.

  • Keep an eye out for any patrons who are displaying cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or watery eyes. If you notice someone that sounds congested, you can approach them in a conversational way to find out if they are taking something for their cold or flu. You might say something like, “It sounds like you are feeling under the weather. Everyone at my house has been fighting something lately. Have you been sick for a while?” Or maybe, “So, it’s just starting, huh? We’ve been going through the medicine at our house to find something that works. Have you been taking anything for your symptoms?”
  • If the patron is willing to engage in conversation, you could casually remind them that some cough and cold medicines can interact with alcohol, and that they should read the packaging on their medicine to check for any warnings. One example would be, “How is that Dayquil working for you? I might try that next time I get sick, does the packaging list any side effects to mixing it with alcohol? I sometimes have a glass or two of wine with dinner and like to make sure there is no risk in mixing the two.” This may spur the patron to think about how their own alcohol intake can be effected by their medication – sometimes a friendly reminder is all it takes.
  • While every drug is different, warning labels on many common OTC medications indicate that side effects can occur if one ingests 2-3 alcoholic beverages a day with medicines. As such, watch your customers and keep track of any excessive drinking (in this case, more than one or two drinks) if you know or suspect they are mixing. You should encourage your customer to eat, bring them a glass of water with their alcoholic beverages, and maybe suggest a low or no-alcoholic beverage instead.
  • If you suspect that your patron may have mixed medications to the point of concern or possible interaction, you should treat them just as you would with someone who has had too much to drink. Alert your manager or supervisor so that they can intervene if necessary.
  • If your customer moves into the ‘danger zone’ and you need to stop alcohol service, remain calm and express concern for their safety when letting them know you need to cut them off.
  • Offer to call them a cab if they appear to be drowsy, unfocused or clumsy in their movements. A person in this state is in no condition to get behind the wheel of a car. Read more about you right and obligation given a certain set of circumstances to serve/sell or not to serve/sell in our blog post, “Are You Committed to Public Safety?”

Alcohol and drug interactions are a risky business that can easily be avoided with a little bit of knowledge and forward thinking. Protect yourself by using common sense and reading labels the next time you drink, and share that message with those around you.


What situations have caused you alcohol-drug interactions have you witnessed and how did you intervene?

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada