Every year, people celebrate marijuana on April 20, a date considered an unofficial holiday for cannabis connoisseurs.
At the Nevada Legislature, however, it’s not about celebration, but policy.
This session, lawmakers are looking at a number of bills to further address both the complex challenges and opportunities that legalized cannabis present. Bills include measures on how best to police stoned driving and whether to permit pot lounges and events.
Here’s a rundown of the bills currently on the table:
Under current Nevada law, people can buy marijuana products, but they can only consume them in a private residence. This puts tourists in a particularly difficult position since they can’t legally consume products in hotels, or elsewhere.
Assembly Bill 341 would allow for the licensure and regulation of cannabis consumption lounges, or public settings where people aged 21 and over can consume marijuana products. The bill would allow dispensaries to obtain licenses for consumption on site, and also allow independent lounges to sell certain products for consumption on site or let customers bring their own products.
Lounges would be obligated to review any products brought from off site to ensure that the products are legal. Lounges would additionally be required to install a ventilation system that ensures a safe air quality and also minimizes the exhaust of odor from the establishment.
Advocates say tourists need a place to legally consume the product. Opponents have expressed concerns about the impact of lounges on communities with concerns about crime and the expansion of black market sales. Additionally, the bill has no expressed limit on the number of lounges allowed in the state, drawing criticism that the already strapped Cannabis Compliance Board might not have the resources to regulate an unlimited number of lounges.