LAS VEGAS (AP) — Roger Bloss sat parked in his vehicle near a smoking area outside a prominent Strip casino resort.
Bloss, the CEO of MJ Holdings, a Las Vegas-based company that grows cannabis in Nevada, observed dozens of people inhaling and exhaling for about an hour.
“I’d say 90% of them were obviously smoking weed,” Bloss told the Las Vegas Sun. “I feel that’s not conducive for certain kinds of tourism and I certainly think it will impact our convention business in Las Vegas Mondays through Thursdays.”
What Bloss said he witnessed isn’t an uncommon sight on the Strip, in parking garages, or downtown on Fremont Street. And if a person in the tourist corridor doesn’t see someone smoking marijuana, they’re likely to smell it at some point when outside of a building.
There soon could be another option.
A new law approved by the state Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak paves the way for marijuana consumption lounges to open in Nevada next year.
The state’s Cannabis Compliance Board, which regulates the industry, will approve licenses for lounges at existing dispensaries and for free-standing independent businesses.
At the sprawling Planet 13 dispensary near the Las Vegas Strip plans are already being made for a consumption area.
Most customers are Las Vegas tourists. In the first quarter of this year, Planet 13 reported nearly $24 million in earnings at its Las Vegas dispensary, or about 9% of all dispensary revenue reported in Nevada for the period from Jan. 1 through March.
Soon, they could have a place to smoke.
“It’s been kind of