Finally being able to purchase and consume cannabis legally is one thing, but enjoying it in public is another — until now.
Las Vegas is joining several other cities in considering “consumption lounges,” or public spaces that allow the safe and legal consumption of various types of cannabis with other enthusiasts. These Amsterdam-style consumption lounges are hoping to provide welcoming and safe spaces for people to come and enjoy their product, as well as establishing the city as a destination for consumption.
Legal Cannabis Purchase and Use in Nevada
At this time, you can walk into a dispensary and legally purchase flower, edibles, concentrates and other cannabis products freely, but there are limitations to where you can consume.
According to law, you can only smoke in private residences. This includes your porch, patio or deck, but not on the sidewalks or streets. Basically, you’re unable to light up in the car, bar, club, casino, restaurant, hotel room or any other public place.
Visitors looking to consume in public usually do so discreetly, such as with a vape pen or edibles, though that can come with a hefty fine of up to $600.
Aside from cannabis consumption, Amsterdam has plenty of appeal for tourists. Visitors to the area enjoy the many historic museums, the architecture, nightclubs and festivals, as well as the many cannabis coffee shops that account for more than 5 million international visitors annually.
Like Amsterdam, having legal consumption lounges in Las Vegas will only add to the tourism, since visitors can enjoy all the sights and nightlife along with safe consumption in a lounge. These spaces will allow smoking, vaping and THC-infused foods or beverages among a group of people who are all comfortable and accepting.
Similar to a bar, a consumption lounge also pulls cannabis use off the street. Unfortunately, legalization doesn’t indicate everyone’s acceptance, so providing a space specifically used for consumption keeps both users and non-users happy and satisfied.
Businesses interested in social consumption will need a privileged business license from the city to allow consumption on business premises. Because this is new territory so soon after legalization, social-use venues will come with many regulations and restrictions, as well as a rigorous acceptance process.
Generally, social-use venues will only allow consumption indoors in a manner that isn’t visible to the public from outside, so there won’t be any patios or outdoor spaces for consumption. No one under the age of 21 or employed by the establishment will legally be able to consume, sell or provide any cannabis products or any paraphernalia or equipment that goes against fire regulations. Cannabis may not be stored on the premises.
Social venues may be able to combine business uses, however. For example, a social venue may be able to get approval for the sale and service of alcohol below a certain alcohol content, as well as a designated room for beer and wine. Social venues may also obtain licensing to sell, provide or distribute paraphernalia, much like a hookah lounge.
Like other cannabis establishments, social venues will also have to comply with the current regulations. These businesses will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools, city parks, churches or houses of worship, group homes, individual care centers, community recreational facilities or any other facility whose primary function is to provide recreation for minors.
Fire safety, odor control, disposal, safety, security and surveillance are also required for a social venue license. Owners looking for multiple-use business licenses must also comply with the regulations in regard to both businesses, such as general retail regulations or liquor regulations.
Looking to the Future
Social consumption lounges are not yet open in Nevada, since lawmakers are waiting a bit to see how these lounges perform in other cities. Plans will likely be finalized late 2018, with the first consumption lounges looking to launch in 2019.
Paint and Puff is open, however, which is a location that accommodates up to 60 people and includes painting, a game room, retail room, yoga lounge and snack lounge, as well as legal cannabis consumption. The caveat is that Paint and Puff only allows for the consumption of CBD products, not THC. Visitors can get a CBD cartridge and a CBD pen, but the owners are waiting for THC pot lounges to be legalized to expand their offerings.
Other businesses are looking to launch as well, with some combining transportation for safer and more responsible consumption, and others looking to have events and seminars to educate the public on safe cannabis consumption.
Ultimately, the combination of the recreational cannabis market and the launch of consumption lounges will likely skyrocket Sin City’s 40 million visitors per year, with more cities and states to follow.
Visit Euphoria Wellness
At Euphoria Wellness, we’re so excited for the possibility of consumption lounges in Las Vegas. As the first cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas, we’re pioneers in providing expertise, education and guidance on cannabis products and consumption to local residents, which will be complemented by safe, secure consumption lounges. Visit our site to learn more about us and check out our menu to see what we have to offer!