Nevada Bill to Legalize Cannabis Lounges Heads to Governor’s Desk

Lounges May Open in Las Vegas and the Rest of the State by the end of 2021

Nevada is closer than ever before to opening its first legal cannabis consumption lounges. 

Both chambers of the state legislature recently passed a bipartisan bill that allows two types of cannabis lounges. 

Assembly Bill 341 would allow “retail cannabis consumption” sites that can be added to an existing dispensary. However, only one lounge will be permitted per each individual dispensary, no matter how many locations the company may own. 

The other type of lounges would be “independent cannabis consumption” sites that would operate as standalone businesses. These kinds of lounges would only allow onsite consumption of single-use cannabis products.

The original bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Yeager and passed an initial assembly panel in April.

As part of its 120-day session in Carson City, AB 341 passed  29-12 in the state’s assembly and 17-3 in the senate last week. 

Now the legislation awaits Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s signature to establish it into state law.

Nevadans voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and to regulate and tax retail sales in 2016, which paved the way for the state’s first commercial dispensaries subsequently to open in 2017. 

While tourists and Nevadans can legally purchase cannabis, consumption is restricted to private residences. Public consumption is a misdemeanor and can possibly carry fines and jail time. 

However, there has been one exception in the state.

NuWu Cannabis Marketplace located near Downtown Las Vegas is the only public consumption space in the state due to its location on sovereign land that’s owned and operated by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. Similar to what would be allowed for consumption lounges in AB 341, NuWu’s Vegas Tasting Room lets patrons consume and socialize over cannabis several ways including pipes, edibles, concentrates, and prerolls.

Planet 13 Marijuana Dispensary is among one of the first dispensaries in Las Vegas to announce plans for opening a consumption site. 

“We are thrilled that after the long wait, Nevada will finally be home to consumption lounges. We’ve long believed that tourists needed a safe, legal, and enjoyable place to consume cannabis and have been planning for a consumption lounge at the SuperStore since the bill was originally proposed two years ago,” said Planet 13 Co-CEO Bob Groesbeck, 13, in a press release.

The first consumption lounges could open by the end of 2021. Starting July 1, dispensaries can start the application process for licensing with the Cannabis Compliance Board to open a consumption lounge

The governor has yet to comment on AB 341 but is expected to sign the bill into law.

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