So Close, Yet So Far: Nevada Cannabis Consumption Lounges

Nevada adult-use consumers and companies have been patiently waiting for consumption lounges to come online in the state, and they may have to wait a little longer.

After years of setbacks, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 341 into law in June 2021, authorizing the Nevada Board (CCB) to license and regulate consumption lounges across the state.

In Clark County, which houses Las Vegas, officials are working to establish ordinances for consumption lounges, and the county Commission held a public input meeting Tuesday to discuss regulations.

But News 3’s Steve Wolford, who attended the public input workshop, said it’s pretty clear from the meeting that there’s “still a long way to go to get these finalized.”

One challenge Clark County faces is staying in tandem with the CCB, which has yet to finalize consumption lounge regulations from the state level, News 3 reported.

“The key, I think, is to have the local governments and the state government work in tandem,” said District E Commissioner Tick Segerblom. “We don’t want to get too far behind and have this thing delayed, so hopefully, we can get on board, work closely with the state and make sure that we aren’t the delay. We want to get this moving as fast as possible.”

Another challenge is establishing zoning requirements. Based on the CCB’s draft regulations, consumption lounges must not be within 1,500 feet of gaming establishments, 1,000 feet of a school or 300 feet of a community facility. In addition, the lounge must be permanently attached to a sales facility, the news outlet reported.

Local jurisdictions, like Clark County, may also set their guidelines and restrictions—separate from the CCB’s—which include capping the number of locations, increasing distance requirements, limiting hours of operation and more.

Clark County District B Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick also voiced her concerns about the lounge’s zoning requirements, noting that she doesn’t feel Nevada is ready for consumption lounges. “I would like to see a county look at some caps so that they don’t all end up in one area,” she said.

The CCB still needs to finalize inspection and zoning requirements. And CCB Executive Director Tyler Klimas, told News 3 that the training requirements for staff within the lounges would also be critical.

“Training is going to be a huge component. We’re already in the draft regulations. We want to ensure staff in these lounges are trained and well-versed in trying to identify anybody who may be overconsuming or has already overconsumed,” he told News 3.

CCB officials said they should have the final draft of regulations for consumption lounges finalized for another public workshop next week, and they should be ready to vote on them by late summer.

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