Las Vegas may become the first city in the country to legalize cannabis smoke lounges. If city officials get their way, smoke lounges in the City of Sin may be a thing by the spring of 2018.
Weed is Legal in Las Vegas, But You Currently Can’t Smoke it in Public
Recreational cannabis became legal in Vegas this past November, but there’s a law that prohibits smoking in public. Adults 21 and older are allowed to legally possess up to one ounce of flower or an 1/8th of concentrates. The problem is, the consumption of cannabis is only permitted in private homes. This leaves tourists without any place to legally smoke weed.
Those in favor of cannabis lounges say that offering tourists (and residents) a legal place to consume marijuana would reduce the number of people who are openly consuming in public places. Right now, there’s nowhere for people visiting Las Vegas’ famous strip to legally smoke pot. If there were cannabis smoking lounges however, there would be less people consuming blatantly in public.
According to Bryan Scott, Las Vegas deputy city attorney, officials are “still trying to work out the final details…and get it right before the feds come down on us.”
Some Worry Cannabis Smoke Lounges in Vegas Could Spur a Federal Crackdown
While there were many people in favor of establishing smoke lounges in Vegas, there were others who were less optimistic. These representatives urged others to consider the 2013 Cole Memorandum guidelines before they carried out with the lounges.
Ben Sillitoe of Oasis Medical Cannabis is someone obviously in favor of legal pot, but expressed caution over implementing cannabis lounges. He mentioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and his strong anti-pot preferences. Sillitoe warned that if the cannabis lounges didn’t meet Cole Memo regulations, that the Las Vegas cannabis industry could potentially see a lot of trouble.
“If black market practices make their way into our cannabis lounges,” Sillitoe said, “our entire existence is at risk. Sessions would like to see the Cole Memo taken away.”
Las Vegas cannabis lounges will next be addressed by officials on January 2, 2018. If proposed regulations do pass, flower and concentrate sales wouldn’t be immediately allowed, as the lounges wouldn’t have state licenses permitting sales of the plant. Lounges would however, be allowed to get a second license to sell marijuana paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs, and t-shirts.