Nevada officially begins inviting customers to enjoy cannabis consumption lounges

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A bill to legalize cannabis consumption lounges in Nevada has been signed by the State Governor. 

After clearing the Assembly last month, the legislation was approved by the Senate. 

On Friday, June 4, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) took things one step further by putting his signature on Nevada’s social consumption lounge law.

The bill, which is sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Yeager (D), will develop two unique licensing categories for statewide cannabis businesses.

Those licensing categories are as follows:

  • “Retail cannabis consumption lounges”
  • “Independent cannabis consumption lounge.”

Existing retailers invited to apply and sell cannabis as part of Nevada’s social consumption lounge law

Cannabis retailers who currently serve Nevada’s legal adult-use cannabis market – which was effectuated on January 1, 2017 following the voter approval of Ballot Question 2 in 2016 – are encouraged to apply for licenses in the “retail cannabis consumption lounges” category. 

With a license of this kind, retailers would be granted the opportunity to license and sell cannabis products that could be legally enjoyed in a licensed on-site facility by adults aged 21 and above.

Additionally, independent lounges are being encouraged to engage in a contract with an existing retailer that would allow them to buy and prepare ready-to-consume cannabis products for resale purposes.

“I am thrilled that Governor Sisolak has signed AB341 into law! Consumption lounges will finally provide a lawful place for both tourists and locals to safely consume cannabis,” Yeager said during an interview with Marijuana Moment. 

“In addition, lounges will help grow Nevada’s small business economy and create hundreds of jobs. In addition, consumption lounges will further solidify Las Vegas’ status as the entertainment capital of the world as well as THE destination for cannabis tourism,” he added.

Based on Nevada’s social consumption lounge law, a Cannabis Compliance Board will be tasked with developing a strict set of regulations for on-site facilities to operate with the utmost compliance. 

Furthermore, the board will be responsible for collecting license applicant fees; reduced fees would be offered to businesses that qualify as social equity applicants.

“[Individuals] who have been adversely affected by provisions of previous laws which criminalized activity relating to cannabis” are deemed to be a social equity applicant, according to the legal language outlined in Nevada’s social consumption lounge law.

Nevada governor also takes strides towards dealing with cannabis penalties, equity and justice 

Aside from the news regarding Nevada’s social consumption lounge law, the governor also recently inked a number of bills to reduce cannabis penalties for minors. Furthermore, the legislative efforts would repeal driving thresholds for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)  

Cannabis and tax revenues are likely to inflate as a result of Gov. Steve Sisolak offering retailers the chance to apply for new social use license types. 

Nevada’s governor has also vowed to support equity and justice in the state’s cannabis law. He demonstrated his commitment last year, when he excused more than 15,000 people of their low-level cannabis possession convictions.