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Nevada Eyes Denver’s New Pot Lounges, Las Vegas to Come to the Table in 2019

  • Denver presents the first recreational cannabis lounges
  • Las Vegas officials cautious about pot lounge endeavors until 2019 legislative meetings
  • Pilot projects in effect to weigh pros and cons of new recreational marijuana use

Denver’s first social-use marijuana permit was awarded to The Coffee Joint in early March of this year, establishing it as the first of what looks to be many pot consumption lounges to open in the coming years. Denver’s cannabis consumption establishment makes allowance for those who are over 21 to consume legal quantities of pot through methods of consuming edible products, vaping and dabbing within the venue itself, with the sole exclusion of smoking only being allowed outdoors (http://cnw.fm/YXa0Q).

City officials in Las Vegas are currently waiting on the City of Denver to approve the country’s first marijuana club, prior to their own discussions revolving around the licensing and regulation of lounges dedicated to marijuana within Las Vegas. With Nevada having permitted the lawful sale of recreational marijuana in July of 2017, a great demand has been placed on related commercial industries brought by the tourists that visit the state. The law mentions, however, that no public consumption of the substance is allowed outside of private residences.

In a public meeting following discussions around the opening of pot lounges, Commissioner James Gibson of Clark County, Nevada, said, “I don’t know if we need to be the first or not, I don’t see any reason why we have to be first, but we certainly have to be right.” Gibson went further to say that regardless of what happens, officials need to do their part and remain consistent through implementation of thorough procedures.

Denver’s announcement in August of 2017 allowed for the submission of applications by businesses that are looking to open marijuana clubs. Up until now, there have been few developments in this regard, with the slow start having been expected because of overly extensive application procedures. “What I have heard from the commission today is that they are open to the idea in concept, but they are not ready to move forward,” added Andrew Jolly, storeowner and president of the Nevada Dispensary Association. Jolly mentioned further that the presentation of a pilot project is the intention. This process would then critically highlight several pros and cons regarding the matter at hand.

As mentioned in the Las Vegas Sun, both the Las Vegas City Council and the Clark County commission have taken a ‘wait-and-see approach’, this being the first notable time that any timeframe of the endeavor had been given. As the situation currently stands, industry advocates have had their eyes on public lounges for consumption since the start of recreational sales last July. It is with the notion of over 40 million tourists entering Nevada each year, with the restrictions on cannabis consumption severely limiting use within hotels and casinos.

The Clark County Commission is currently planning to wait on public consumption of marijuana until the 2019 state legislature meetings. Chris Giunchigliani, county commissioner, urged that his group first wants to monitor the social use implementation in Denver prior to any decisions on their part (http://cnw.fm/eF4sX).

State Senator Tick Segerblom put forth his disappointment in that his vision of Las Vegas being the first major city within the United States to open marijuana lounges did not come to fruition. The step taken by Denver was noted to be a step forward, with the potential of benefiting Nevada. A further step forward would see the allowance of smoking the substance within lounges, with consumers not necessarily being restricted to consuming edible products, vaping and dabbing, as is the case in Colorado. It is with great anticipation that Las Vegas is awaiting the 2019 legislature meetings to prove successful within the recreational cannabis consumption industry.

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