Nevada lawmakers have another crack at regulated cannabis consumption lounges

We can see why they keep submitting the concept it could be a huge money earner for businesses in the state the question of the pandemic must though put a dampner on the whole thing for quite a while yet.

The Las Vegas review journal reports

Assemblyman Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, is sponsoring a bill in the Legislature that would legalize cannabis social use venues, a move that would give tourists an avenue to legally consume marijuana.

“We just need to provide that kind of venue so people can do it responsibly and do it the right way, if they so choose,” Yeager said.

The issue has been around since the state allowed recreational marijuana sales starting in 2017. Tourists can come to Nevada and legally buy cannabis, but the only place where it can be consumed under state law is inside a private residence. And hotel rooms don’t count.

“It’s just crazy that we would would encourage people from out of state to buy it knowing that as soon as they walk out the door they’ll probably be breaking the law,” said Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, considered Nevada’s godfather of cannabis for leading the charge for legalization.

Because of that, gaming officials have opposed past efforts to move lounges forward. They’ve worried that if lounges were too close to casinos, their companies could run afoul of federal law.

“They present a compatibility issue for the gaming industry,” said Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association.

Valentine said the resort association couldn’t take a stance on Yeager’s bill because it’s still being drafted.

Sen. Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, who along with every other Republican in the Senate voted against a 2017 effort to create cannabis consumption lounges, said he still believes that legalizing marijuana use and possession was the wrong move. He said he likely would vote against Yeager’s effort as well.

But Hansen, one of the state’s most conservative lawmakers, at the same time signaled some support for the concept.

“People are going to smoke this stuff. They’re buying it legally. Why don’t we create a little place where they can go and smoke their dope?” Hansen said.

“Maybe this is a good way to make it so that if it’s going to happen anyway, let’s do it in a safe, sanitary fashion,” he added.

Another issue that lawmakers likely will need to tackle: concerns about lounges leading to increased stoned driving.

Yeager said that, as is the case with alcohol and traditional bars, it comes down to making the public aware of the dangers of driving impaired.

“We’ve just got to do a better job of educating people and making sure they use other transportation. With Uber and Lyft, it’s never been easier to do that,” Yeager said.


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