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Nevada’s First Marijuana Consumption Lounge Officially Opens, With Top Lawmaker Hitting A Joint At 4:20



Nevada’s first legal marijuana consumption lounge has officially opened it doors, with a top local lawmaker smoking the inaugural joint at 4:20 pm.

Patrons lit up for the first time on Friday at the inaugural THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace facility in Las Vegas, where they were also served a curated selection of marijuana products and non-alcoholic THC-infused beverages.

This marks the culmination of years of rulemaking to allow the new license type. The Nevada Cannabis Control Board (CCB) gave final approval for the “Smoke and Mirrors” lounge earlier this month.

Regulators approved an initial batch of consumption lounge licensees last June, which came after regulators gave preliminary approval to 40 prospective hospitality businesses. THRIVE was one of the three businesses to receive that approval last year.

“THRIVE has always been known for setting the bar for operational standards and quality cannabis experiences and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this historic moment in Las Vegas as we continue to revolutionize the cannabis industry,” Mitch Britten, CEO of THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace, said in a press release.

Clark County Commission Chairman Tick Segerblom made history as the first person to make a legal purchase and smoke a joint at the facility at the symbolic time 4:20pm. The lounge also recognized the commissioner by dedicating a signature infused drink, “The Godfather,” in his honor.

“I have been waiting since the 60s for this day: legally smoking marijuana in public,” Segerblom told Marijuana Moment. “Now Las Vegas is on its way to being the ‘New Amsterdam’—the marijuana capital of the world.”

(Disclosure: Segerblom supports Marijuana Moment’s work with a monthly Patreon pledge.)

Christopher LaPorte, managing partner at RESET, a cannabis hospitality company working with THRIVE on the new facility, said that the companies are “beyond excited to have unveiled the first state licensed cannabis lounge in Las Vegas.”

“Our goal is not just to create a space for cannabis enthusiasts, but to create a social hub for our guests,” he said. “With Smoke and Mirrors’ remarkable array of products, we aim to provide an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression.”

Smoke and Mirrors is open for adults 21 and older from 4:00pm to midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday and noon to midnight Thursday-Sunday.

CCB said earlier this month that there are currently 19 lounges that have been approved for a conditional license, including 14 retail-attached and five independent lounges.

Tyler Klimas, who served as executive director of the CCB from 2020 to late 2023, said in a podcast published last month that the cannabis consumption lounge development represents the “next frontier” for the industry.

The law—which was enacted under legislation from Assemblyman Steve Yeager (D) and signed by former Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) in 2021—also allows for businesses that couple cannabis with yoga, serve infused food, offer THC-aided massage therapy or incorporate marijuana in other ways.

Sisolak touted Nevada’s lounge law in a 4/20 op-ed for Marijuana Moment in 2022, writing: “The idea isn’t new, but no one is doing it like we are in Nevada.”

“While most of the consumption lounges in other states don’t offer food, beverages or other entertainment options,” he said, “Nevada’s lounges will be a one-stop entertainment shop to create jobs, grow the industry and boost our economy.”

Under the board-approved rules, consumption must be hidden from public view. Smoking and vaping must take place in a separate room of the lounge or be prohibited entirely. Single-use or ready-to-consume cannabis products can’t be brought off-site. And businesses must provide water to every guest free of charge.

The lounges will also be cannabis-only. No alcohol, tobacco or nicotine products can be sold.

Other safety-related regulations require lounges to establish plans to limit cannabis-impaired driving and minimize workers’ exposure to secondhand smoke. Guns are prohibited, surveillance is required and procedures must be in place to reduce and respond to potentially violent or harassing behavior.

Single-use cannabis products are limited to no more than 3.5 grams of usable cannabis under the regulations, with “extracted inhalable cannabis products” (such as vaping or dabbing products) limited to 300 milligrams of THC. All single-use products with more than 1 gram of usable cannabis, and all extracted inhalables, must carry written potency warnings.

Individual servings of ready-to-consume edible products are capped at 10 milligrams THC, a fairly standard amount in states that have legalized cannabis for adult use.

Topicals, meanwhile, are limited to 400 milligrams of THC. Transdermal patches and all other cannabis products can have no more than 100 milligrams THC and must carry a written warning if they have more than 10 milligrams.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

As consumption lounges begin to open, the state’s marijuana laws changed in another meaningful way at the beginning of this year, with a new policy in place that more than doubles the amount of cannabis that a person can buy and possess to 2.5 ounces.

Recreational retailers will also become authorized to serve medical cannabis patients as well, without having to get a separate license.

The new law came into effect under a large-scale marijuana reform bill that Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) signed into law in June. The legislation also broadens eligibility for participation in the market by people with prior felony convictions.

Meanwhile, Nevada officials recently adopted a proposal to amend hiring standards for police officers to allow job candidates who were previously disqualified for certain marijuana-related offenses to now be eligible for law enforcement positions.

Separately, as Nevada advocates continue the push for psychedelics reform, a joint legislative committee held a hearing last month with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin.

Last May, the state Senate also approved a resolution urging Congress to federally legalize marijuana, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) voted to send a proposed regulatory amendment to the governor that would formally protect athletes from being penalized over using or possessing marijuana in compliance with state law.

House Bill To Remove Marijuana As Barrier To Federal Employment Or Security Clearances Has Moot Provisions, Congressional Budget Office Says

Photo courtesy of Martin Alonso.

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