It’s an issue that has plagued the legal cannabis industry since Colorado and Washington became the first two states in the country to usher in adult-use programs. Sure, people can buy cannabis products, but unless they have a private residence to use them, where exactly do consumers turn to legally consume cannabis in public?
We know today that the answer is legal public consumption sites, though implementing those changes can be a longer process. However, it appears that Nevada is moving closer to opening a number of cannabis consumption lounges of its own, after state regulators gave conditional approval for three existing dispensaries to open cannabis consumption lounges earlier this week.
A New Cannabis Chapter for Nevada
Back in November 2022, the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) first announced that it had granted
The CCB also voted at the Tuesday meeting to adopt regulations for greater flexibility in air ventilation requirements for cannabis consumption lounges, aimed to reduce barriers for potential licensees including social equity applicants.
The CCB approved Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, a multi-location, large-scale cannabis operator, for a conditional cannabis lounge license, specifically its Sammy Davis Jr. Drive location in Clark County. Neighboring Planet 13 Dispensary was also approved for a conditional cannabis lounge license at the meeting, along with Washoe County’s The Venue at Sol Cannabis.
Nevada Consumption Lounges: An Ongoing Battle
The move toward legal cannabis consumption lounges in Nevada has been a long time coming. This recent development comes just two years after then-Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed
The regulations also indicate that consumption must be hidden from public view, and any smoking or vaping must take place in a separate room of the lounge or can’t take place at all. Guests would also be barred from bringing any off-site single-use or ready-to-consume cannabis products into consumption lounges, and businesses must provide water to guests free of charge.
Similar to laws in other states, the legislation also ensures that consumption lounges only involve cannabis, meaning that dispensaries cannot sell alcohol, tobacco or nicotine products.
Under the regulations, single-use products are limited to no more than 3.5 grams of usable cannabis. Vaping and dabbing products are limited to 300 mg of THC, and any single-use product with more than one gram of usable cannabis, along with all extracted inhalables, must also come with written potency warnings. Individual edible servings cap out at 10 mg of THC.
Las Vegas Remains a Cannabis Tourism Hotspot
For Nevada, consumption lounges are especially needed in high-volume tourist areas like Las Vegas. Cannabis became legal for recreational use in the state on Jan. 1, 2017, and while there are plenty of dispensaries around the Strip, tourists have been left without options to legally use purchased cannabis during their stay.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped tourists from using cannabis out in public, ushering in a strong and persistent weed odor that other businesses off the Strip haven’t taken too kindly to.
Another adjacent solution, the infamous Sin City opened its first cannabis-friendly hotel,
Planet 13 operates the largest dispensary in Nevada and sits about a mile off the Las Vegas Strip, as no cannabis consumption lounge or dispensary can be located within 1,500 feet of a casino. Thrive Cannabis Marketplace similarly sits just off the Strip.
It’s still unclear as to when any of the three lounges expect to open or if and when additional applicants could be approved.