The first cannabis consumption lounges in Nevada will be opening—eventually.
Since the state’s first recreational marijuana dispensaries opened in the summer of 2017, many tourists and some renters have discovered that while they can purchase cannabis, they have nowhere to legally consume it. Marijuana can only be legally consumed on private property in Nevada.
Attempts were made in the Nevada legislature in 2017 and 2019, and at the local level, to remedy this, but failed.
During the 2021 session of the Nevada Legislature, the problem was addressed with the passage and signing into law of Assembly Bill 341. It will allow for two types of cannabis lounges. The first type will be cannabis lounges attached to existing dispensaries. The other will be independent consumption lounges not affiliated with a dispensary.
Companies that own dispensaries will only be allowed to have one lounge, regardless of how many dispensary locations they have.
Alcohol will not be served in any consumption lounge, and pot lounges will not be allowed in casinos.
The new law goes into effect on Oct. 1. In the meantime, the Cannabis Compliance Board and local jurisdictions are meeting with stakeholders and working to create regulations. The application window for licenses may not open until early next year, meaning cannabis lounges could be open for business sometime mid-year in 2022.
Ed Alexander, owner of SoL Cannabis in New Washoe City, is looking forward to the day he can have a consumption lounge at his dispensary but says there are a lot of details to be worked out first. He thinks that’s a good thing. Alexander said rushing to make cannabis lounges operational could lead to unintended consequences.
Ed Alexander. Image: SoL Cannabis
“Right now, since the Cannabis Compliance Board and none of the local jurisdictions have crafted any of