Las Vegas is now one of the only places in the U.S. with legal cannabis lounges, after a 4-1 vote by the City Council on Wednesday reported by the Las Vegas Sun.
For a city which has OK’d gambling and prostitution, the restrictions on these lounges are pretty tight. For one thing, they cannot sell any cannabis, which means patrons have to bring their own cannabis. (Lounges can, however, sell paraphrenelia).
Paradoxically, though you can’t buy weed in a cannabis lounge, a cannabis lounge can only be operated by one of 12 licensed dispensaries currently operating in the city. That means that the lounges have to be separate from and adjacent to the retail space.
Other restrictions dictate that lounges cannot sell alcohol, that consumption inside the lounge must remain invisible to anyone outside of it, and that all lounges have to adhere to strict, air quality, odor control, fire safety, security, and santiation requirements.
Establishments will be open only to adults 21 and over, and may not be operated within 1,000 feet of a school or 300 feet of a church.
And there’s another zoning restriction that might shape the fabric of weed consumption in Sin City: no cannabis lounges within 1,000 feet of a casino or site with unrestricted gaming. So, you can’t smoke in a casino and you can’t gamble in a lounge.
A year from now, businesses which don’t have dispensary licenses will be able to apply for a license to open a cannabis lounge. Without the gaming restriction, you might have been seeing some golden nuggets offered at the Golden Nugget, some THC at the MGM, a little crumble from Caesars.
But that doesn’t mean the move isn’t still historic. As High Times writes, “Las Vegas is now among the first handful of cities around the country to allow for such venues.”
Photo via Flickr user brandon king