Nevada’s enthusiastic tourism market has certainly encouraged legislators to finally approve the first consumption lounges. This move will see the huge tourism base of cannabis users being able to fully immerse themselves in the state’s attractions. This decision comes a year after the bill was passed – slow progress but a huge win for both consumers and providers.
Licensing And Operation Of Consumption Lounges
On June 28, 2022, the CCB voted to allow the licensing of consumption lounges. A consumption lounge will provide a social setting where adults can freely enjoy cannabis products. This is widely seen as a positive move ever since the first legal sale in 2017 and will boost the state’s already solid marijuana tourism base.
Two sets of licensing were passed. The first allows existing retailers to sell products for consumption on-site, and the second is to allow standalone lounges to operate. Standalone lounges will be allowed to sell single-serving and ready-to-use products. This is a move forward that places Nevada in the lead with their legislation – whilst other states have some degree of social use, Nevada has definitely made the most comprehensive and inclusive legislation become a reality.
These licensing opportunities will also enable business ventures that incorporate cannabis in some shape or form. Think of marijuana as an ingredient in food or baked goods, or even massage services with infused oils or other aids.
The licenses do come with few restrictions – the foremost being that the products cannot be taken off-site. The users of marijuana must also be separated from vaping individuals or smokers and must not be in the public eye. Water must also be made available to all users, on-site and free of charge.
The regulations strictly permit cannabis products – no alcohol, nicotine or tobacco products may be sold. The cannabis products also carry certain limitations of strength and potency:
Single-use cannabis products are limited to no more than 3.5 grams of usable cannabis under the regulations, with “extracted inhalable cannabis products” (such as vaping or dabbing products) limited to 300 milligrams of THC. All single-use products with more than 1 gram of usable cannabis, and all extracted inhalables, must carry written potency warnings.
There are also indicated restrictions on edibles and topicals. We expect to see the first round of licensing this fall, and there has also been an effort to provide social equity licensing. Ten of the permitted 20 licenses of standalone lounges are set aside for social equity applicants. We are excited to see how these licensing opportunities will continue to foster growth in the market.
How Does This Change Accessibility?
In a bustling city filled with casinos, malls, parties and the high life, Las Vegas is notorious amongst cannabis users for not allowing public smoking. In a city where you can see people smoking on every corner, gamblers living it up, and parties raging on every street it is a double standard to not provide an accessible space to use cannabis. Even if you attended a cannabis-specific event, you had no access to use the product.
This announcement came in as a great opportunity for distributors, consumers and legislation to work together to create access points for users. All stakeholders can work together to further improve the way cannabis is used – and also how it is viewed by the public. The opening of the lounges can help a great deal to educate the general public and start important conversations. While the cannabis market continues to gain ground in both scientific support and public education, legislation still has a long way to go to create a fair and mainstream business.
The lounges create an opportunity for more cannabis-related products to enter the market, granting access to users that would otherwise not be able to benefit.
The Nevada decision is a win for the cannabis community. The accessibility that it will grant to users will be paramount – as well as the equality it will create amongst business owners, cultivators and manufacturers. Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!