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Las Vegas Plans to Wait for Denver to Act on Cannabis Lounges

Chloé Harper Gold

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City officials of Las Vegas say that they plan to wait for Denver to open up cannabis smoking lounges before exploring the venture in their own city. It’s a decision that was made to avoid mayhem and financial, political, and social disaster. The only problem with waiting for Denver to test the waters of sanctioned social smoking is that they haven’t made any progress yet, either.

Cannabis Lounges

In recent news, reports from Denver, Colorado indicated that they may be close to establishing weed clubs in the city. These clubs, also referred to as smoking lounges, would allow adults to consume cannabis in a social setting like one might drink alcohol in a bar. Ever since Colorado legalized recreational cannabis for adults back in 2012, those of legal age have been able to purchase and consume the herb freely, even without a medical card. But there is one catch. Public consumption of cannabis is prohibited by law. So, if you’re a pot-smoking adult in Colorado, your only option after purchasing your weed from a dispensary is to take it home with you and smoke it there (or at a friend’s house). You can’t even vape weed in public.

But that could change soon.

Residents of Denver voted in favor of allowing the opening of smoking lounges in the city. Of course, there are a ton of regulations that would come with opening such establishments. The cannabis smoking lounges would need to have “Bring Your Own” rules, they will not be able to hold liquor licenses and they would have to maintain a large distance from areas where children gather, like schools and playgrounds.

Smoking in Sin City

On July 1, Nevada officially legalized the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis.

Like Colorado, one of the stipulations of the legalization is that all pot must be consumed—either by smoking or vaping—in a private residence. This leaves most tourists of Nevada, particularly those who venture into Las Vegas, high and dry. Or rather, not high, since they often find themselves without a place to consume their legally-purchased cannabis.

To address and amend this problem, the authorities of Las Vegas have been batting around the idea of opening up lounges and clubs for tourists and others who like to smoke pot in public, social settings. Establishing cannabis clubs seems like it would only result in profit and higher rates of tourism, especially in Las Vegas. But the powers that be are hesitant to move too quickly.

According to reports, officials have made the decision to wait until Denver has established a few cannabis clubs on their own before they move forward with their own city. Since businesses like this would be groundbreaking in the nation, it makes sense from a political, social, and economic standpoint to want to wait for a beat before going all out. In a public forum, Nevada’s Clark County commissioner James Gibson noted that all due diligence must be taken to prevent a “mess that it would take years to get out of.”

Final Hit: Las Vegas Plans to Wait for Denver to Act on Cannabis Lounges

The problem with Las Vegas waiting for Denver is that they aren’t moving forward either. In late August, city officials opened the door for businesses to apply for permits to allow the consumption of cannabis on their property. But so far, not a single application has been submitted. In addition to the strict rules and regulations, there is a lengthy application that business owners must complete. Denver also requires that all interested businesses receive support from community groups.

So, as of now, both Denver and Las Vegas are at a standstill when it comes to cannabis clubs. Will either city take the next steps and set a precedent for the rest of the country? Time will tell. For now, we’ll keep our eyes wide open for further updates.

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