After Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 341 into law in June 2021, cannabis consumption lounges are set to open in Nevada by mid-2022 because of a recent increase in funding from the state’s Interim Finance Committee (IFC). AB 341 created the licensing process and regulations for an unlimited number of lounges.
According to The Nevada Independent, the IFC unanimously approved funding of nearly $11.5 million for the state’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) to obtain more full-time staff members, work with the Nevada AD to establish regulations, and administer revenue from cannabis sales toward funding for education. The CBB also plans to establish regulations on licensing and applications for consumption lounges later this year.
While one cannabis consumption lounge—called NuWu Cannabis Marketplace—already exists on the land of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, the law gives the green light for more lounges to open and give Nevada residents and visitors the ability to consume marijuana products outside of their homes. Only adults who are at least 21 years of age would be allowed to enter a lounge, which will also provide single-use and ready-to-consume products – and no alcohol.
Before AB 341, cannabis consumption was only allowed in private residences if owners allow it, which is not the case for many renters and tenants. Casinos and hotels prohibit the use of cannabis.
The initial cap for the number of independent consumption lounge licenses will be at 20 – with half of this number reserved for social equity applicants. Additionally, 20 existing dispensaries will have retail consumption lounges attached to their facilities.
The cost of applying for a retail consumption lounge is $100,000, but it only costs $10,000 to apply for an independent consumption lounger. The license issuance and renewal fees cost $10,000 for both types of lounges.
The law also contains social equity provisions—for those who have been adversely affected by the criminalization of marijuana under previous laws—when it comes to obtaining a license to own and operate a cannabis consumption lounge. Qualified social equity applicants are eligible for up to 75 percent reduction in application fees, which can cost a total of $30,000 or more.