Cannabis lounges now official in Nevada

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:26 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada legalized the recreational use of marijuana and the dispensaries who sell pot back in January 2017.

What may not be well known, while marijuana can be legally purchased at a dispensary, it must be consumed in a private residence.

For those in the industry who had anticipated a tourism market surrounding marijuana; that fact was a ‘buzz kill.’”

But with the approval of cannabis lounge regulations by the Cannabis Compliance Board “cannotourism” and its potential may soon be realized.

“The natural evolution for us is to give people places where they can be entertained,” says Ed Alexander, SOL Cannabis founder. “They can experience similar things as if they were having a glass of wine or beer,” he says.

For these past five years Alexander had plans to convert a deck just outside the dispensary as an outdoor lounge. He says bands could play on the deck and food could be served.

Under the new regulations he certainly could be one of the 40-to-45 current licensees who already has a dispensary and who wants to add a lounge.

But the devil is in the details. Take for instance Nevada’s “Clean Air Act.”

“I just wonder how Bully’s is going to react when you can sit around and smoke marijuana and I can serve you a steak, when they are not allowed to do that,” says Alexander.

Lounge licenses will not come cheap. Such a license could cost up to $100,000 dollars. And applicants must show $200,000 dollars in liquid assets.

Alexander says while the industry has certainly shown its viability, he wonders if the interest and consumption will continue.

Then there are issues of insurance, liability, and greater oversight of marijuana businesses who are now in the lounge business.

“There is still a ton of unknowns as it relates to regulating this emerging sector-segment of the industry,” he says.

Alexander says there is one other thing he will consider before opening a cannabis lounge, and that is the state of the economy.

He suspects other investors will be looking at that too.

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