Nevada legislature gives the green light to cannabis consumption lounges
By Max Darrow
In the final moments of Nevada’s 81st Legislative Session, lawmakers voted with bipartisan support to pass AB 341, giving the green light for cannabis consumption lounges.
“My hope would be we see something open up towards the fall of this year, but it’s not going to surprise me if more realistically we’re looking into early next year,” Assemblyman Steve Yeager said.
Yeager sponsored the bill. He explained there will be two models for consumption lounges once the law is officially in play.
“One is, if you have an existing dispensary and you have the adjacent space where you can put a lounge, you can have one,” he said. “There’s a model for independent consumption lounges. Those will be independent businesses that can apply and open up – they’ll be able to sell single-use cannabis products.”
Yeager explained dispensary operators can only have one lounge – regardless of how many dispensary locations they have. There will also be licenses set aside for social equity applicants, which Nevada Dispensary Association Executive Director Layke Martin says should help create opportunities for new individuals to enter the competitive industry.
"These lounges will and are expected to increase diversity. They have a particular set aside for social equity applicants and a reduced fee structure for social equity applicants,” she said. "We have many retailers that have been wanting to add lounges to their properties for a while."