On June 4, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed Assembly Bill 341, a bill allowing for cannabis consumption lounges throughout the state, into law.
The law legalizes two kinds of cannabis consumption spaces: “retail cannabis lounges” run by dispensaries and “independent cannabis consumption lounges” run by any other type of business. In both spaces, single-use or ready-to-consume cannabis products are permitted for use by anyone 21 years and older.
Though this law has been championed to boost Las Vegas tourism, hotels won’t be considered for stand-alone consumption lounges due to federal law, and this is unlikely to change for now. (The Las Vegas Sun reports that the Nevada Gaming Control Board forbade gaming licensees from participating in the cannabis industry starting in 2018.) However, tourists of course aren’t the only ones who could benefit.
“It’s important to give people who may feel wary or tentative a cannabis space where they can consume intentionally.”
“Consumption lounges are important because they help protect people from prejudicial law enforcement or being fined or sanctioned in a way that causes real harm, that perpetuates the War on Drugs,” cannabis and social equity advocate Noel Gordon told Filter. Gordon lives in Las Vegas, in addition to serving as director of development outside of the state for Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization.
JamalEdeen Barghouti, an advocate based in Reno, stressed the value of having public consumption spaces for new cannabis users. “It’s important to give people who may feel wary or tentative about approaching a cannabis space where they can consume intentionally,” they told Filter. In addition to serving on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Barghouti works as director of Blackbird, a software and operations company servicing the cannabis industry.
Historically, cannabis has been purchased in an underground