Don’t expect Las Vegas marijuana consumption lounges to be cash cows for their owners — at least initially.
That was part of the message delivered by Ben Sillitoe, co-founder of Oasis Cannabis, during a Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association luncheon on Thursday.
“We lost a lot of money for a really, really long time,” Sillitoe said. “You don’t just get to open a cannabis business and make a ton of money. I promise you that lounges will be the same way.”
The Las Vegas City Council last month approved an amendment to allow for lounges to operate by existing dispensary owners. Those without a state license to sell cannabis would be allowed to seek permits for off-site lounges starting in 2020.
Because of the city’s somewhat lengthy permitting process, it’s expected that the first lounge won’t be open until sometime this fall at the earliest.
The city did, however, receive its first special-use permit application request for a lounge on Thursday, according to a city spokesman. That was from Nevada Wellness Center on South Valley View Boulevard.
“(Lounges) are a step in the right direction,” Sillitoe said. “At some point in time, you won’t need to have a cannabis consumption lounge to be able to consume cannabis, but this is the first step and it’s a hugely important first step.”
Taping into revenue sources through lounges could be tricky for dispensary owners. Marijuana-related items can be sold at lounges, but not marijuana products.
The city’s amendment doesn’t allow for alcohol at lounges, something that was a sticking point for law enforcement. If law enforcement finds alcohol at a lounge, the space could be closed for 10 days.
“It would be nice to have beer and wine (at lounges) at least as a minimum,” Sillitoe said. “It would be more fun