Cannabis dispensaries in Las Vegas given permission to open social consumption lounges

Some of Las Vegas' social smoking lounges will extend over 8,000 square-feet


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

It looks like “Sin City” is saddling up for an exciting adventure into the legal cannabis industry, with the sight of social consumption lounges transpiring on the horizon.  A team of lawmakers at the Las Vegas City Council recently voted to provide the city’s currently-operating dispensaries with the opportunity to apply for social consumption permits.

Obtaining such a permit would enable cannabis business owners in Las Vegas to invite their customers indoors, where they can consume the plant in a safe and secure setting. The city council approved the new rule following a 4-1 vote earlier this month.

City officials say cannabis customers need a place to smoke their stash

Lawmakers in Las Vegas believe that it is absolutely necessary for consumers to have a place in which they can consume the cannabis they’ve purchased from recreational dispensaries. One of the votes for social cannabis lounges came from Councilwoman Michele Fiore.

What I’m advocating for is making sure we as a government agency do not create criminals by basically not giving them an outlet after we’ve passed a state law,” said Sisolak, who is working with fellow members of a cannabis advisory panel to draft rules and regulations for Nevada’s nascent cannabis industry.

A Cannabis Control Board will be established by Sisolak’s advisory panel. The sole purpose of this board will be to ascertain exactly where and when Las Vegas’ cannabis social consumption lounges will be permitted, when and if the rule goes into effect.

Cannabis tourists in Las Vegas will be invited to watch live entertainment and smoke weed’s no secret that Nevada already boasts a booming tourism industry. Now, with the introduction of legal recreational sales throughout “the Silver State,” Nevada’s tourism industry is sure to blossom further.

News of the Las Vegas City Council’s 4-1 vote to allow social consumption spaces has left some people feeling concerned that the council is choosing to open social lounges purely for profit-making purposes.

With more than 40 million tourists descending on Las Vegas every single year, many of whom will do so to enjoy the cannabis and casinos, hotel owners are worried that guests will stray from the resorts to consume their bud in a legal social lounge.

Cannabis connoisseurs are sure to find Las Vegas’ social consumption spaces irresistible, however. Guests are invited to enjoy live music, comfortable seating, delicious food and non-alcoholic drinks in a social setting. Let’s not forget about the main ingredient, either: cannabis.

Customers will be able to socialize and experience the therapeutic effects of cannabis and its derived products inside Las Vegas’ social consumption lounges, one of which is located at the back of Acres Cannabis and will be converted into an 8,000 square-foot space. While the lounges cannot be housed inside a brick-and-mortar dispensary itself, they can be constructed adjacent to the property.

Nevada’s cannabis ambassador says “We’re the new Amsterdam”
(Pictured) Former state senator Tick Segerblom

In spite of concerns, former state senator and Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom is very optimistic about Las Vegas’ cannabis tourism industry. He has even compared Sin City to a city in the Netherlands called Amsterdam, where the coffee shop scene has enticed smokers from all corners of the globe since it began operating in the 1970s.

“We’re the new Amsterdam,” said Segerblom, who recently divulged to the USA TODAY Network that he thinks the social consumption scene in Las Vegas could be perceived as stiff competition in the eyes of big gaming company owners.

“They’re concerned about (lounges) making money outside the hotels,” Segerblom said. “They’re worried the longer this goes outside hotels, the more established they’ll get. As a business person, I would be concerned too.”

Licenses for Las Vegas’ social consumption spaces will be distributed amongst dispensary license owners, of which there are currently around a dozen. Fortunately for gaming entrepreneurs, reports have revealed that the lounges cannot be located within 1,000 feet of an established property offering gaming services.