Nevada approved recreational marijuana use in 2016, but three years later there’s still no place for visitors to the state to toke up. Although those visitors can purchase weed at licensed dispensaries, state law still prohibits the consumption in public places and vehicles, so unless they are on private property with permission from the owner, visitors have no legal place to consume.
Some Nevada lawmakers are pursuing legislation that will allow the creation of marijuana lounges, following models used in places like San Francisco. The state law makes no provisions for the creation of such venues, but the Las Vegas City Council, which oversees the downtown and Fremont East areas but not the Strip, took a first step by approving an ordinance on May 1 that would allow for the creation of marijuana social lounges. It appears those plans could remain in limbo, however, as the state, under newly elected Gov. Steve Sisolak, has decided to set up its own framework for opening the lounges.
The new governor created an advisory panel for marijuana regulations that is in the process of determining rules to regulate the marijuana industry, including the formation of a Cannabis Control Board. One of the board’s responsibilities would be outlining when and where consumption lounges should be allowed, if at all. The advisory panel has sent a bill to the state legislature that if approved, would establish the control board and supersede the existing Las Vegas ordinance.
“If the cannabis commission bill passes it will put Las Vegas back to square one,” said Clark County commissioner Tick Segerblom, a strong supporter of legal weed during his days as a state legislator from 2007 to 2018. The Clark County Commission, which has authority over the Strip, has been considering a marijuana lounge ordinance