In this file photo, customers smoke marijuana while sitting in a booth in the smoking lounge at Barbary Coast Dispensary in San Francisco.
The city of Las Vegas will allow marijuana social-use lounges for the first time in an effort to provide public spaces for marijuana consumption two years after legalized recreational sales launched in Nevada.
Under the new city ordinance, which was passed today in a 4-1 vote by the city council, licensed marijuana businesses in Nevada will be permitted to apply for special-use permits to open consumption lounges at which cannabis products may be sold and consumed on site. After one year, other interested business owners — including those who have not received licenses to operate marijuana dispensaries in Nevada – will be permitted to apply for consumption lounge permits as well.
Supporters of the ordinance noted that while it is legal to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries in Nevada, there are limited legal options for the millions of tourists visiting Las Vegas to lawfully consume the substance. It remains illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana in most hotels and public places, including casinos, bars, restaurants and on the street.
Proposed by Councilman Bob Coffin, the measure was supported by council members Michele Fiore and Cedric Crear and Mayor Pro-Tempore Lois Tarkanian, in addition to Coffin. Stavros Anthony voted against the ordinance, and Mayor Carolyn Goodman abstained from the vote, citing a conflict of interest due to a family member involved in the cannabis industry.
The vote came a month and a half after the council put the brakes on an earlier version of Coffin’s ordinance, as other councilors wanted more time to tweak the measure and hear the concerns of those resistant to the lounges. Fiore and Crear said they were confident that the latest version of the ordinance, which city staff have been crafting for the past two years, will suffice for now. Tarkanian was more hesitant, but ultimately voted yes.
Published: May 01, 2019
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