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Consuming cannabis: could we see lounges in Nevada?

Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 7:56 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Making marijuana more mainstream.

“People come (to Nevada) to use cannabis,” said lobbyist, Will Adler. “Where do they use it? How do they use it? Hopefully (Assembly Bill 341) solves the conundrum.”

On Saturday the Ways and Means Committee of the Nevada State Assembly looked over AB341. The bill pushes for a way for people to consume cannabis in public, legal settings.

Those settings are called cannabis lounges. Right now using cannabis at home is the norm. Should the bill pass, the Cannabis Compliance Board will be involved to regulate, offer applications, and then issue licenses to entrepreneurs to build places where people can enjoy legal cannabis products.

“It’s to the point where lounges have to get passed in that next vote in the assembly, get all those votes in the senate, and then have everything done and signed in the next eight days before the Legislature is finished,” said Adler on the bill’s progress.

Adler expects the rest of this year to be used as a time to plan for what these lounges would look like and how they might come into existence. He says cannabis lounges are already open in the Netherlands and even in San Francisco. Nevada could be next.

Opening up a cannabis lounge is something of interest to Ed Alexander. He founded SoL Cannabis in Washoe Valley.

“When we legalized cannabis, we left out the component of consumption,” Alexander said of needing to take the next step to progress the marijuana industry. “I ask people to think about how the liquor industry would be without bars.”

Imagine a bar, but for marijuana. That is the goal for people in favor of AB341.

SoL is unique in that it is a dispensary, but also has its own greenhouse where marijuana is cultivated and then turned into products that are sold on site. If cannabis lounges are allowed, Alexander envisions consumers hanging out on SoL’s deck, or at the outdoor concert venue adjacent to the building.

“Whether you’re for or against legal cannabis it’s part of the state of Nevada’s economy at this point, and we need to give the industry an opportunity to breathe and and expand,” said Alexander.

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