An update on Nevada pot lounges—what’s taking so long?

jars of cannabis flower

Image via Shutterstock

By Aleza Freeman

August 1, 2023

In the six years since Nevada legalized cannabis, there still isn’t a state-licensed public place where tourists and locals can legally partake. But the outlook is getting less hazy.

In July, the Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) approved a conditional license for La Lounge LLC, the first independent cannabis lounge in the state to receive approval.

The CCB unanimously approved conditional licenses for three other cannabis consumption lounges, which are attached to dispensaries, during a meeting in June.

Now, the businesses–including Planet 13 SuperStore and Thrive Cannabis Marketplace in Clark County–must receive local approvals and undergo a final inspection before opening.

Also during the June meeting, the CCB loosened requirements around the HVAC systems in consumption lounges, following complaints from applicants that the stricter air quality regulations were too cost prohibitive.

The CCB issued 40 prospective licenses for consumption lounges last November. To receive a conditional license, prospective license holders must supply documents to undergo a suitability investigation by CCB board agents.

While the Venue at SoL Cannabis in Washoe County was the third lounge to receive CCB approval in June, Washoe County commissioners nixed those plans on July 11, voting against cannabis consumption lounges in Northern Nevada’s unincorporated areas.

In Southern Nevada, Planet 13, Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, and La Lounge are competing to become the first state-regulated lounge to open.

Thrive, which has seven Nevada dispensary locations in Las Vegas, Henderson, Jackpot and Reno, hopes to open its 3,000 square-foot lounge, Smoke and Mirrors, in time for the MJBizCon marijuana business convention coming to Las Vegas in late November-early December.

With plans to build a consumption lounge and a restaurant in Clark County, LA Lounge is aiming for a fall opening.

Planet 13’s projected opening date is during the first quarter of 2024. The company—with dispensary locations in Las Vegas and Orange County, CA—is currently in the fourth phase of construction on its lounge as well as a 12,000-square-foot immersive cannabis experience, Cannabition, both within the 112,000 square-foot facility.

“Planet 13 is a very popular place to visit … we get asked about the addition of our consumption lounge by many customers every day,” said VP of Sales & Marketing David Farris, adding that the dispensary “is investing a lot of resources to get the consumption lounge open as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, as a sovereign nation, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe celebrated the grand opening of its own tasting room called the Sky High Lounge on July 21 at 4:20 p.m. Located at NuWu Cannabis Marketplace, just north of downtown Las Vegas on tribal land, the 16,000 square foot consumption lounge has two dab bars, a drink bar, and a rooftop terrace offering views of Fremont Street and the Las Vegas Strip.

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

CATEGORIES: CANNABIS | COMMUNITY

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