October 1st officially marks the day for cannabis lounges in Las Vegas. According to the legislation, the application process has officially begun. Like a lot of States, this new cannabis law allowing for cannabis consumption lounges has social equity stipulations fought for by the local community. Like many states, however, we need to examine what “social equity” in these new terms means. With everything else happening in cannabis right now, some of these programs have proven to have holes. Many of them end up not serving who they are meant to serve. In turn, it fuels a side of cannabis that disregards its history.
For some time now, cannabis lounges have been called for. As a tourist-driven city, Las Vegas lacks a place to consume while there is a dispensary willing to sell you an ounce every 15 miles. The only lounge allowed to operate was owned by the Paiute Tribe and exempt as a sovereign state. Over four years later, the law was finally passed and, this month, the licensing process for lounges began.
Outlets report “the new permitting system prioritizes Black and Latinx applicants who have been adversely affected by the provisions of previous laws which criminalized activity relating to cannabis.” The first ten of twenty independent cannabis consumption lounges must be awarded to social equity applicants. For independent licensing, the fees start at $10,000. For dispensaries that want to add a lounge to their existing business, they start at $100,000. Those fees can be reduced if applicants were affected by cannabis prohibition.
CANNABIS LOUNGES OFFICIALLY COMING TO LAS VEGAS
As we stated, locals fought for the stipulations after multiple studies showed the cannabis industry was skewed toward white men. This brought some realism to the fees and requirements to enter the legal market, Assemblyman Steve Yeager introduced the law. Nevada will join six other states with consumption lounge access.
Open consumption brings a new topic to cannabis. As recreational weed laws grow, however, the conversation and need for lounges do as well. Given how other states have handled the new terrain, some concern isn’t misplaced.
We’ve been talking about social equity and opportunity a lot in cannabis; but, not as much locally. At the moment, only the biggest shops are primed with plans to open a shop. A few small brands have voiced interest but nothing is concrete just yet. Come next year Nuwu’s Tasting Room will have competition; right on time, as the city recovers economically from the last year or so. Will the revenue be the only winning part of the change though. Follow us to stay up to so on this developing story.