Tourists who are prohibited from consuming cannabis in their hotel rooms will soon have places to partake. The City of Las Vegas approved marijuana consumption lounges Tuesday.
In a 4-1 vote, the council passed an ordinance to allow a special business license for “social use venues.” Only Councilman Stavros Anthony opposed the ordinance. Mayor Carolyn Goodman abstained from voting, citing that one of her children is involved with the marijuana industry.
During the first year, only city-licensed marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate the venues. The lounges would not be allowed to serve alcohol and would need to be at least 1,000 feet away from casinos and schools. The approval process will take three to four months, said city spokesman Jace Radke.
The ordinance, which was championed by Councilman Bob Coffin, is two years in the making, explained Bryan Scott, the senior assistant city attorney. He said the city invested hundreds of hours researching as well as meeting with people in the community in order to produce the current language and garner as much support as possible. The Nevada Resort Association opposed the measure, citing the drug’s illegal federal status.
In March, the Nevada assembly introduced a bill to issue licenses to operate marijuana lounges but the bill died without ever getting out of committee.
“The state will catch up but we can’t wait for the state to act,” Coffin said. “ We have to move as leaders and we have to make some assumptions that there’s no great resistance of objection to these lounges.”