The Las Vegas City Council moved this past week to get cannabis consumption lounges operational by passing a new ordinance, but questions remain that could yet delay lounge openings.
The new law sets the stage for the 15 marijuana lounge permits issued in Las Vegas by state regulators. A total of 40 lounge licenses were awarded by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board, and Clark County – which is home to Las Vegas – has already moved to implement the new business model, KSNV reported.
Still, it’s uncertain where the lounges in Las Vegas will be allowed to set up shop. Each must be 1,000 feet apart from the next-closest lounge unless one obtains a special waiver from the city, a rule that some business interests oppose, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Among the provisions finalized by the council is a decrease in lounge license fees for the city’s seven social equity permitholders to just $1,500, while non-equity license fees will be $10,000.
Marijuana consumption lounges could open in Las Vegas by the end of the year, city officials told KSNV, while some in Clark County may open as soon as April or May.
Nevada is pioneering a surprisingly new business model for cannabis business lounges, in allowing the companies to sell marijuana on-site to consumers instead of requiring that patrons bring their own product with them. The new lounge model also closes a longstanding loophole for tourist-heavy Las Vegas, because consumption in most hotels and in public remains technically illegal.