Las Vegas city council votes down opt-out measure, will allow consumption lounges
The Las Vegas City Council in September voted down an opt-out measure, officially opening the door in the city to cannabis consumption lounges, which will mark the first time the tourist mecca will provide places for the 40 million visitors each year to legally consume cannabis products.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County will be the only jurisdictions in the southern half of the state to allow the lounges, with North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City and Mesquite all opting out.
The Nevada Cannabis Consumption Board in late June unanimously approved regulations, which are expected to be open by the end of the year. The state will permit two different types of lounges: independent, stand-alone businesses and those attached to currently licensed dispensaries. An estimated 40 to 45 dispensaries are expected to receive consumption lounge licenses with an additional 20 licenses going to independent lounges. Food may be served, but no alcohol will be allowed.
There are currently 17 dispensaries in Las Vegas. The 10-day application window for consumption lounge licenses was scheduled for October.
According to the Review-Journal, Las Vegas city staff will now need to iron out the city’s 2019 social use venue ordinance to comply with state law.
“I think it’s important for the city to consider the business opportunity that consumption lounges will bring, and also some relief of issues we’re currently hearing about a lot because we’re not offering a place for folks to actually consume when they buy,” City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz told the Review-Journal after the vote.
— Brian Beckley