Roger Bloss sat parked in his vehicle near a smoking area outside a prominent Strip casino resort.
Bloss, the CEO of MJ Holdings, a Las Vegas-based company that grows cannabis in Nevada, observed dozens of people inhaling and exhaling for about an hour.
“I’d say 90% of them were obviously smoking weed,” Bloss said. “I feel that’s not conducive for certain kinds of tourism and I certainly think it will impact our convention business in Las Vegas Mondays through Thursdays.”
What Bloss said he witnessed isn’t an uncommon sight for those walking the Strip, in parking garages, or downtown on or around Fremont Street. And if a person in the tourist corridor doesn’t see someone smoking marijuana, they’re likely to smell it at some point when outside of a building.
That’s soon to change.
Legislation approved by lawmakers at the recently concluded Nevada legislative session and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak paves the way for marijuana consumption lounges to open in Nevada next year.
It’s now the responsibility of the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board, which regulates the industry, to approve licenses for lounges at existing dispensaries, and for free-standing independent lounge businesses.
At Planet 13 on West Desert Inn Road near the Strip — a 112,000-square-foot dispensary paradise — plans are already underway for a consumption area.
Most of the customers who come into Planet 13 are Las Vegas tourists. In the first quarter of this year, Planet 13 reported nearly $24 million in earnings at its Las Vegas dispensary, about 9% of all dispensary revenue reported in Nevada for the period from Jan. 1 through March.
Now they’ll have a place to smoke.
“It’s been kind of a dream of ours to allow for consumption within this complex,” said David Farris, a spokesman for Planet 13.