With a name like Sin City, it’s undeniable that Las Vegas has a reputation for regulating the unregulatable. When recreational marijuana sales launched in July, Nevada became the most regulated cannabis market in the country. That’s why Las Vegas officials are tackling the next pot challenge: regulating marijuana consumption lounges in a gambling town.
Councilman Submits Proposal for Marijuana Consumption Lounges in Las Vegas
The year may be winding down, but the cannabis industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Ever since recreational marijuana sales launched in Las Vegas and Greater Nevada, legislators have been faced with the challenge of regulating cannabis consumption for the more than 43 million tourists traveling to Las Vegas.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Councilman Bob Coffin announced his proposal of an ordinance that would enable the city to license the nation’s first marijuana consumption lounges. The move is not a surprising one, and it is supported by a September opinion issued by the State’s legal team establishing that state law allows local municipalities to determine licensing regulations for cannabis businesses.
Las Vegas lawmakers consider Marijuana consumption lounges. Again.
Coffin’s proposal was announced at a public workshop and, according to Assistant City Attorney Bryan Scott, if lawmakers proceed with the proposal, lounges could be approved by March. The expedited timeline for legalization, however, is not what Coffin and other policy leaders are concerned with. Rather, the goal is to ensure that regulations are effective and implementable.
“I’m not suggesting we rush into it,” Coffin said, “We’ll do it right.”
How Las Vegas lawmakers are learning from Denver pot lounges
While voters in Denver legalized the regulation of pot lounges through Initiative 300 in 2016, crafting regulations has been a challenge. After a lengthy and hotly contested process, the city of Denver received its first application for a consumption license in early December 2017.
Although the Las Vegas ordinance is still being drafted, Coffin said the proposal would allow for the city to regulate some cannabis-infused businesses. That means cannabis consumption-friendly businesses, like restaurants or yoga studios, in addition to cannabis consumption lounges, are also being considered.
The final language of the ordinance and its timeline for implementation would be up to Las Vegas’s City Council. Despite this, Coffin proposes that his ordinance roll out as a two-year pilot program, much like the emergency rules governing current recreational marijuana sales at Nevada marijuana dispensaries. After Coffin’s pilot program ends, lawmakers would revisit the rules and vote to revise them or establish them permanently.
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