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Smoke shops compete with essential gas stations using delivery

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nonessential smoke shop owners are competing with essential gas stations by delivering their products to customers.

Hayder Alshalah owns two businesses called On The Run Smoke Shop.

One in southwest Las Vegas and the other just east of downtown Latest Las Vegas News.

When businesses were shut down, Alshalah began doing curbside service until state officials said he could only do delivery.

"Usually we used to get like 80 customers a day at this store, at Charleston we used to get like 100 customers a day. Now we're getting like 15 orders a day," said Alshalah.

To make matters worse, Alshalah said gas station owners are well aware of his predicament and are now taking advantage by selling products not usually found in gas stations.

“Today I called the city and they said they are allowing them, the gas stations, to sell 11 percent of our products," said Alshalah.

Specialty items like hookah charcoal and hookah tobacco are now being found in gas stations and mini marts, which are considered essential, unlike Alshalah’s non-essential smoke shop. 

"Even after everything is over and goes back to normal, those businesses will carry our product, so our business is going to be useless. Nobody is going to come to us," said Alshalah.

That’s only part of his troubles.

In February, his east side smoke shop was robbed twice.

"First time was like $14 to $16 thousand and the second time, like $9 thousand dollars,” said Alshalah.

The police came by and took a report.

Alshala believes the thief used a jamming device to keep from the alarm from sounding Press Release Distribution Service.

Even though he can legally deliver his goods, which is the only way he can make money, he said after what happened, he decided to close, going from two shops to one.

"Now deliveries are allowed, but sometimes it's not safe...I don’t feel comfortable to do deliveries over there," said Alshalah.

He said financially he can only last until the end of the month until he has to close the doors on both his smoke shops.

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