Since legalizing adult use in 2017, Las Vegas has been one of the most adaptable — and profitable — markets in cannabis. Still just one problem has loomed in Nevada since: there is nowhere to legally consume it.
Well, almost nowhere. Scot Rutledge, who managed the 2016 Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol inNevada campaign, comments, “The language we drafted in the initial ordinance for recreational use only allowed for private consumption in your home. It does not include hotels and casinos due to state regulations and the gaming commission.”
Now, over a full year into legalization, the question has inevitably become, according to Rutledge, “Can we create public venues where people can come together and responsibly and safely consume their cannabis, and not create any public safety issues like drunk driving or crime?”
Las Vegas city councilman Bob Coffin recently drafted an ordinance allowing for “social use venues,” or “SUV,” licenses to be permitted to business owners looking to host cannabis consumption at their venues — similar to an Amsterdam coffeeshop, only without the sale of cannabis, which would remain at dispensaries. The SUV ordinance hasn’t passed as of yet, and doesn’t include venues like casinos, spas or strip clubs. However, it does allow a SUV to be operated “in the same location and in conjunction with the exercise of a beer and wine room license” according to the ordinance language. This means that the consumption of cannabis can occur simultaneously in a venue where “premixed” beer and wine with less than 11 percent alcohol content is served. The idea being that these venues will create a more “socially normalized atmosphere.”
And that’s exactly what innovators like Jenn Tramaglino of Cannect Hospitalitysay they are looking to provide in Sin City: “Cannect Hospitality will focus on bringing luxury experiences and cannabis consumption venues to Las Vegas for people to safely enjoy cannabis in a place that feels like any other bar or nightclub.”
“No one is going to spend 10 dollars to walk into a venue just to smoke a joint that they already own,” argues senator Tick Segerblom, who has his own plans for expanding cannabis social use venues in Clark County to businesses like gyms, health spas, salons and live events if elected this November.
Millions of cannabis enthusiasts worldwide flock to Amsterdam each year to take advantage of its famous coffee shops — now a new beacon of cannabis freedom is on the horizon, and what better place than one that was built to sustain large-scale tourism and is known for pushing the envelope …Vegas, baby!