Legal Consumption Coming to Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Review Journal

Las Vegas has legal cannabis, but while the law seems straightforward, there’s a major catch.

“A person who is 21 years of age or older is allowed to possess and consume retail marijuana. A marijuana consumer may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 1/8 of an ounce of concentrated marijuana. Marijuana can only be purchased legally from state-licensed retail marijuana stores,” the law states.

The problem — and it’s a big one — is that it’s not legal to smoke marijuana anywhere in Las Vegas except for a private residence. No hotel allows guests to smoke marijuana and there are no legal consumption lounges.

That has pushed consumption onto the Strip, into parking lots, and really pretty much everywhere outside around the city. Police aren’t going to arrest you for lighting up, but having legal pot without a legal place to smoke it is not ideal.

That’s going to change in the coming year.

Las Vegas, and more broadly the state of Nevada, has a plan to create legal cannabis-consumption lounges. These would work a lot like bars, except they won’t be allowed to sell alcohol. The lounges will be a place where tourists (and residents) can legally smoke cannabis products.

There will be two types of consumption lounges. First, there are the ones that will be associated with existing dispensaries. Planet 13 (PLNHF), the largest cannabis retailer in Las Vegas, has actually opted to give up its liquor license in order to open a marijuana-consumption lounge.

In addition to lounges associated with dispensaries, Nevada also plans to issue 20 licenses for stand-alone cannabis-consumption lounges, according to the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board.

These lounges will begin opening in the new year. Planet 13 sits about a mile off the Strip. Federal law makes it impossible for casino operators to add lounges, but Las Vegas Strip consumption lounges could happen in locations that are far enough away from casinos.


This article appeared in the Las Vegas Review Journal Monday morning, January 2.

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