Undoubtedly, cannabis legalization has been beneficial for the states that have ended Reefer Madness prohibition within their borders, creating jobs and generating revenue instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on futile arrests and jailings in an futile attempt to cancel Mary Jane. Tourism has been a big driver of the cannabis economy as connoisseurs living in prohibition states travel to purchase from state-regulated dispensaries. Look no further than the cannabis sales experienced in Eastern Oregon, as its an open secret that Idahoans are flocking into the Beaver State for “greener” pastures in search of what the ruling class in the Gem State may refer to as “The Devil’s Lettuce.” Nevada is doubling down on cannabis tourism, wisely placing a bet that tourism will be spurred in the state by legalizing cannabis consumption lounges.
This newfound freedom will definitely boost cannabis tourism in the Silver State, especially in Las Vegas, where you just know we will soon see a variety of toking-friendly establishments, some even staffed by the likes of circus performers and Elvis impersonators. I predict that this move by Nevada will also influence neighboring states like Oregon to also formally legalize cannabis cafes and other consumption-friendly establishments. (East Fork Cultivars’ Hemp Bar is a good start, but…) Recognizing the impact on Sin City, food and dining site Eater Vegas, covered the passage of Assembly Bill 341, which authorizes the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board to license and regulate cannabis consumption lounges:
“Nevada may soon have its first cannabis consumption lounges. The Nevada legislature passed a bill that allows two types of cannabis lounges during its 120-day session in Carson City. One type allows an existing dispensary to add a space for a lounge, with only one lounge allowed no matter how many locations a dispensary has. The other model permits independent businesses to build a consumption lounge with single-use cannabis products for sale.
“Since Nevada first legalized recreational marijuana dispensaries in 2017 in Nevada, many tourists have discovered that while they can purchase cannabis, they have nowhere to legally consume it unless they know someone who lives in Las Vegas. Cannabis products are not permitted inside casinos and hotels. While not legal in Nevada, tourists resort to consuming marijuana outdoors or in their hotel rooms.
“The first consumption lounges could open by the end of 2021. Starting July 1, dispensaries can start the application process for licensing with the Cannabis Compliance Board to open a consumption lounge.”
The Las Vegas Review Journal provided some insight into what these lounges may look like, with some fun possibilities:
“Some lounges will likely will have a bar-like set up, where customers 21 and older would be able to buy single-use or ready-to-consume marijuana products inside the lounge and consume it on-site.
“But there will be some flexibility for prospective owners who want to be creative with their lounge. Concepts like cafes with cannabis-infused products or marijuana-friendly yoga studios, comedy clubs and even massage parlors could be possible.”
Regulated cafes and other consumption-friendly businesses are needed in Oregon so everyone can have a safe place to enjoy legal cannabis. Not only should we capture the tourist dollars, but people that live in homes with restrictions on cannabis use, need a place to go. Nevada’s decision will soon reverberate across the country as voters, legislators, and policymakers see that the sky won’t fall and the dire predictions of naysayers, influenced by decades of Reefer Madness propaganda, will be proven false once again. Personally, I look forward to Kind Leaf and other great craft cannabis boutiques opening up a variety of cannabis establishments, even providing an opportunity for local entertainers to perform before an uplifted and euphoric crowd.
While Kind Leaf isn’t allowed to open a connected cannabis cafe just yet, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique does offer the best selection in the Great Northwest. Come on into the beautiful store or order online with Leafly.