Nevada has been debating on whether to allow cannabis clubs in the state for those who are either visiting from out of state, or who don’t have a private residence where they can consume the herb legally. While no law was passed during the legislative session that would allow it, the Legislative Counsel Bureau has announced that nothing in the Nevada cannabis law prevents a business from establishing a lounge, or hosting an event where cannabis consumption is allowed.
“I think the local officials, at least the ones I heard from, were saying we don’t want to get out in front of this thing, so unless we have something from the state saying we can do it, we’re just going to sit on our hands,” Senator Tick Segerblom said.
For now, it is up to local governments to decide whether they will allow cannabis lounges and similar businesses to open or not. Lawmakers like Segerblom understand that it will cut down on potential “crime” to give people a place where they can legally smoke, vape or otherwise consume cannabis in a public setting, without being in parks or other public places where it is still illegal. However, while many lawmakers are on board for such a thing to transpire, not all are quite so ready to see the cannabis industry growing at that capacity.
“I think that this might invite more (federal) scrutiny with regard to the sale of recreational marijuana,” Governor Brian Sandoval said.
Sandoval, on the other hand, believes that allowing cannabis lounges could attract the attention of the federal government – one of the many reasons that Colorado did not follow through on their plans to allow cannabis lounges last year. In states where cannabis is legal for personal use, one of the biggest issues for tourists, renters, and those living in public housing is having a place where they are allowed to consume the cannabis that they have legally purchased.
“I think it’s way too early to be doing something like that,” Sandoval said. “I think it’s important that we continue to see how the sale of recreational marijuana evolves.”
Though Sandoval doesn’t think that now is the time to be working on cannabis lounges and similar businesses, it will not be up to him whether they will start to pop-up around the state. Local governments will be able to make the call on whether they want to adopt or enforce any ordinances that would require such businesses to obtain licensing – but currently, there is no standard regulation for such an establishment.
“It’s really going to be up to local governments,but I’m hopeful that they will start to look at this and basically experiment with different ways to provide public use,” said Segerblom.
Considering the number of tourists, especially in areas of Nevada like the Las Vegas strip, who will likely want to be able to consume marijuana while on vacation, having a place for them to go is essential. Hotels, lounges, cafes and other businesses being able to allow cannabis consumption would certainly help cut down on the number of people who are arrested or fined for public consumption. With the goal of cutting into the black market, and reducing crimes related to cannabis, allowing lounges is important and Nevada may be on their way to being the first state with legal cannabis lounges.