Nevada just legalized a new type of establishment: the cannabis consumption lounge. The state’s legislature just passed a bill that allows two types of cannabis lounges.
Since Nevada’s cannabis legalization in 2017, people weren’t able to consume cannabis in any public space, they had to know somebody who lived in Las Vegas in order to consume the product.
In order to diversify the industry and give the tourists a place to legally consume cannabis, starting July 1, all dispensaries can start the application process with the Cannabis Compliance Board to open a consumption lounge.
The first consumption lounges could open by the end of 2021, here’s all you need to know about the consumption lounges in Nevada.
What is a consumption lounge?
According to AB341, a cannabis consumption lounge is either: a
- A retail cannabis consumption lounge or
- An independent cannabis consumption lounge.
A retail cannabis consumption lounge is a store attached or immediately adjacent to an adult-use cannabis retail dispensary which is allowed to sell ready-to-consume cannabis product to people 21 years or older.
An independent cannabis consumption lounge is a cannabis store as well, but it isn’t attached or adjacent to an adult-use dispensary.
A cannabis consumption lounge is a type of adult-use cannabis establishment, alongside testing laboratories, cultivation and production facilities and dispensaries and distributors.
What products can you get in a consumption lounge?
In a consumption lounge you’ll be able to get ready-to-consume cannabis product, which means edible products that are prepared on the premises of the lounges, presented as foodstuff or beverages, sold either heated or unheated and intended for immediate consumption.
Social Equity Applicants
The new legislation establishes that applicants that have been “adversely affected by provisions of previous laws which criminalized activity relating to cannabis” may apply for a consumption lounge license as social equity applicant.
These adverse effects may include adverse effects on an owner or officer of the applicant, without limitation.
The board has to adopt more regulations establishing additional criteria to be used for determining whether an applicant for the issuance or renewal of a license qualifies as a social equity applicant.
This criterion has to include:
- The diversity on the matter of race, ethnicity or gender of the applicant or the persons who are proposed to be owners or officers of the proposed independent cannabis consumption lounge.
- Whether the applicant qualifies as social equity.
- Any other criteria of merit determined to be relevant.
At least 10 of the first 20 licenses for independent cannabis consumption lounges have to be issued to social equity applicants.
Lounges will be restricted to people 21 years or older, and venues will be able to sell product, however, not as much as to make them some sort of de facto dispensary.
Also, every applicant has to submit to the Board the application fee and all of the following:
- The legal name of the proposed adult-use cannabis establishment.
- The physical address where the establishment will be located.
- Evidence that the applicant controls liquid assets in an amount determined by the board to be sufficient to cover the initial expenses and complying with the provisions of the law.
- Evidence that the applicant owns the property on which the establishment will be located or has permission of the owner to operate on it.
- A set of fingerprints and written permission (of each owner, officer or board member) of the person authorizing the Board to forward the fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for submission to the FBI.
- The name, address and date of birth of each proposed owner, officer or board member of the establishment.
None of the proposed owners, officers or board members of the proposed establishment must have been convicted of an excluded felony offense, nor served as an owner, officer or board member for a cannabis establishment that had its license revoked, or a cannabis agent registration card revoked, or an establishment agent registration card for a cannabis executive revoked.
Retail Cannabis Consumption Lounges
The Board will not issue an adult-use cannabis establishment license unless:
- The applicant holds a dispensary license.
- The store for which the applicant holds a license is operational.
- The location of the consumption lounge is attached or immediately adjacent to the store.
The consumption lounge must not be located in an airport. Other than that, the consumption lounge is not subject to the restrictions regarding retail-dispensary zoning, as long as the adult-use cannabis retail store to which it is attached or immediately adjacent was in compliance with such requirements at the time its license was issued.
The Board may not issue more than 20 independent cannabis consumption lounges licenses. If before June 30, 2022, the board issues 20 adult-use licenses for an independent cannabis consumption lounge, the Board may issue adult-use cannabis licenses for independent consumption lounges in amounts that exceed the limit, so long as the total number of such licenses issued by the Board does not exceed the total number of establishment licenses for a retail cannabis consumption lounge issued by the Board.
At least 50% of the licenses allocated to a local governmental jurisdiction must be issued to independent cannabis consumption lounges.
No person shall hold more than one license for either an independent cannabis consumption lounge nor a retail cannabis consumption lounge.
Don’t forget to check out our Marijuana Legalization Map where you can browse the current status of laws in every state in the United States and see all our posts on each of them.