Cannabis Consumption Lounges Officially Coming to Nevada

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signs legislation to bring lounges by this fall.

Nearly five years since legalizing cannabis, Nevada is set to get its first legal cannabis lounges.

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 341 into law on June 4, which grants the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board the ability to license and regulate consumption lounges.

The bill would allow two kinds of consumption lounges that would allow people to consume cannabis via smoking, vaping, or ingesting edibles.

The first type of lounges are “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 bill also allows counties permission to limit and regulate lounges.

Assemblyman Steve Yeager sponsored the original bill, which passed an initial assembly panel in April.

The state legislature passed the bill with bipartisan support as part of its 120-day session in Carson City, AB 341 passing 29-12 in the State Assembly and 17-3 in the Senate last month. 

Cannabis has been legal in Nevada since November 2016, and the state’s first legal sales took place in July the following year.

Despite the state’s legalization efforts, Nevada curretnly prohibits public cannabis consumption, including casinos, hotels, bars, nightclubs, vehicles and some rental properties.

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. NuWu’s Vegas Tasting Room lets patrons consume and socialize over cannabis in several ways including pipes, edibles, concentrates, and prerolls.

Planet 13 Marijuana Dispensary is one of the first dispensaries in the state to announce plans for opening a consumption lounge. 

“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 before the bill was signed into law.

Nevada’s decision to legalize cannabis follows in the footsteps of other states that have passed legislation to legalize cannabis lounges, including Alaska and Colorado

The new law takes effect Oct. 1, 2021. Starting July 1, dispensaries can start the application process for licensing with the Cannabis Compliance Board to open a consumption lounge.

The governor also recently signed other cannabis legislation, including a law that amends marijuana penalties for minors and another bill that revised per se driving thresholds for THC—the main active ingredient of cannabis.

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