After nearly two years of discussion, the Las Vegas City Council approved the licensing of social-use cannabis venues on May 1. In a city with some of the world’s largest legal cannabis retailers—and nowhere to light up—it looked like visitors finally would have a comfortable place to enjoy their purchases.
Las Vegas has some of the world’s largest cannabis retail stores. And still nowhere to light up legally.
Earlier this month the Nevada Legislature, with the support of Gov. Steve Sisolak, adopted Assembly Bill 533, which overrides the Las Vegas measure and delays the opening of any legal cannabis venues until at least July 2021. The bill, first introduced just three weeks ago and set to be signed into law by Sisolak this week, requires a new Cannabis Compliance Board to address unspecified “issues” that have risen as a result of “rushed” cannabis policies made under former Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sisolak’s office said.
Nevada statue prevents new laws from being altered for two years after they’re passed, so cannabis social lounges won’t open until at least July 2021.
“(Sisolak) believes it’s better to address the issue of consumption lounges the right way than the quick way,” said Helen Kalla, spokeswoman for the Nevada governor.
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For John Mueller, owner of Acres Dispensary, on Las Vegas City land just north of the Strip, the new law means an 8,000 square-foot cannabis event space located at the back of his store won’t be open for cannabis business after all—at least not immediately.
Designed as a controlled and legal atmosphere for many of the Las Vegas Valley’s 42 million tourists each year and over 2 million local residents to consume