Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board announced the news in late June.
A statement reads: “Today, the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) voted unanimously to approve regulations surrounding the licensing and operation of cannabis consumption lounges.”
Nevada Cannabis Lounge Regulations
Regulations were hammered out over the last year, with over fifteen public meetings. Expect the first licenses by autumn, with lounges open to the public by Thanksgiving, if not earlier.
Nevada lawmakers got the green light from voters. The state government created two bills for licensing. One for retail cannabis lounges, where consumers can buy and consume cannabis, and another for independent cannabis consumption lounges. The latter only sells single-use or “ready-to-consume” products.
In other words, Nevada cannabis consumption lounges fall into two categories. One for connoisseurs who are likely to establish long-term roots with their favourite establishments. And one for the single-serve customer, the tourist, who wants a spot to smoke and chill and bring nothing back with them in the rental car.
Cannabis Lounges Wave of the Future
Plenty of cannabis lounges have existed before. Portland, Oregon’s residents once enjoyed the World Famous Cannabis Cafe. That was before political authorities shut it down.
California isn’t shy about consumption lounges. Although not part of the state government’s original legalization scheme, the long history of medical cannabis in the state has blurred the lines between city and state laws. For now, the state government leaves the decision to local municipalities.
San Francisco is lenient on public consumption (among other things) and permits consumption inside licensed businesses. The City of Oakland lets medical and recreational cannabis businesses apply for a second licence that permits on-site consumption.
West Hollywood is the only part of Los Angles that license cannabis lounges. Palm Springs also has a permit for cannabis lounges.
However, the city of Alameda (located on an island in the Bay Area) wins by a long shot. When one receives approval for a cannabis retail licence, their on-site consumption license is included automatically.
We could all learn from Alameda. And it seems Nevada has. Alaska and Colorado already have cannabis lounge regulations. But compared to them, Nevada’s is broadly libertarian. According to Nevada, essentially anything can be a cannabis lounge.
Evolving On-Site Consumption
The stereotypical cannabis lounge is not far from the reality. You’ve got couches, chairs, tables, and a snack bar. Others might incorporate board games or dab bars, but the idea is that it’s a lounge, not a restaurant.
But Nevada’s cannabis lounge regulations go further. They don’t stop a restaurant from applying for an independent consumption licence. If it’s a choice between having alcohol or cannabis on-site, undoubtedly, many restaurants will choose cannabis. Just as many will stick with alcohol. But that’s assuming Nevada lawmakers force the choice.
It’s Las Vegas, baby. Why not both?
Yoga studios that celebrate 4/20. Massage parlours that serve edibles before your massage. Movie theatres with dab rigs built into the chairs. Casinos and cannabis, need I say more?
There’s a reason Murray Rothbard praised Las Vegas as the pinnacle of modern civilization. Nevada just proved again why America – all things considered – truly is the land of the free.