New legislation passed by the Nevada state legislature earlier this year went into effect last Friday, giving recreational cannabis business owners the ability to apply for licenses to open on-site consumption lounges. The state Senate and Assembly voted to allow consumption lounges five years after Nevada voters approved the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state in 2016, with the first opening in 2017.
Consumption lounges allow adults to smoke, eat, or dab cannabis products. Right now, cannabis is illegal inside casinos and hotels, giving tourists few options for legally consuming the products they buy at cannabis stores. The new legislation allows an existing dispensary to add a space for a lounge, with only one lounge allowed no matter how many locations a dispensary has. The other model permits independent businesses to build a consumption lounge with single-use cannabis products for sale.
On Friday, the Cannabis Compliance Board started fielding applications for cannabis lounges, which, once licensed, become the first places consumers can legally partake recreational cannabis. The new permitting system prioritizes Black and Latinx applicants who have been “adversely affected by provisions of previous laws which criminalized activity relating to cannabis.” The board uses a points-based system to