Nevada becomes the 6th state to legalize adult-use cannabis.
On July 1, 2017 legal cannabis sales began and the public flocked to dispensaries by the thousands. In the first 4 days alone retail shops raked in $4 million, translating to $500,000 in school-bound tax revenues and putting the Silver State on track to sell $60 million in 2017.
Despite a few hangups with the distribution of product and considering they were only the 6th state to ever attempt it, the rollout of legal marijuana in Nevada went about as well as could be expected.
One big problem still remains.
The new laws allow people to buy and sell cannabis, but prohibited consumption in public places. Considering that almost every hotel also prohibits the consumption of marijuana on their properties, would-be consumers are limited to private residences.
Tourists can buy marijuana but have nowhere to legally consume it.
That could all change very soon.
The Solution? Cannabis Lounges.
On March 6th of this year Nevada lawmakers opened the doors for local businesses and certain events to allow cannabis consumption on their premises. Possibilities include restaurants, yoga studios, spas, and concerts such as the infamous Electric Daisy Carnival music festival held every year in Las Vegas.
Senate Bill 236 grants local governments the power to, should they choose, issue permits to local businesses that would allow for legal consumption on their premises.
Businesses applying for permits will have to be certain distances from community facilities such as churches, schools, and parks and must ensure all consumption is done out of sight of the public.
Why haven't we seen any of these places open up yet?
Despite the change in law, local governments were unsure if the revisions put forth in Senate Bill 236 would conflict with the rest of Nevada’s legal code; a very wise concern considering the uncertainty of the federal political landscape.
Nobody wants to be the guinea pig.
Senator Tick Segerblom, after meeting with several commissioners, had this to say about the situation:
“I think the local officials…were saying we don’t want to get out in front of this thing, so unless we have something from the state saying we can do it, we’re just going to sit on our hands,”
So, Senator Segerblom requests a review of Bill 236.
Senator Segerblom asked the Legislative Council Bureau to conduct an official review of Bill 236 to determine its legitimacy when taken in the context of the rest of Nevada’s legal code.
Bureau finds 236 to have no conflicts with existing State Law.
On September 10th The Legislative Council Bureau published an official opinion and stated in a letter to Senator Segerblom:
“It is the opinion of this office that a business may establish and operate a lounge or other facility or special event at which patrons of the business are allowed to use marijuana in compliance of state law”
Does this mean we’re going to see smoking lounges popping up around the strip tomorrow?
Probably not. However, with this new opinion, Nevada municipalities can begin to have serious conversations about whether or not they’re going to take advantage of this new freedom and provide millions of tourists and locals alike with a safe space to consume their legal cannabis.
In the mean time, if you’re planning a trip to Vegas and plan to purchase some legal cannabis, there are a few things you should know.
Check out our video where I walk you through everything you need to know before walking into a Sin City dispensary.