Nevada Completes Licensing for Cannabis Lounges

Stephen Andrews
07 Dec 2022

State officials in Nevada awarded the last batch of licenses to applicants who want to set up cannabis consumption lounges. The Silver State is expected to officially launch recreational use lounges early in 2023.

The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board accepted applications for cannabis consumption lounge licenses throughout October 2022. No competitive selection process was put in place, but the applicants were chosen in digital draws, the last of which took place on Nov. 30. 

In the final draw, the board announced the remaining 20 applicants that will be granted a license to run cannabis consumption lounges. The selection included both non-social equity and social equity applicants. 

The lottery followed months of preparation. The Cannabis Compliance Board rolled out tools and resources over the summer, such as worksheets, video tutorials, and live webinars, so that all interested candidates can access the same information and prepare for application successfully. 

The board accepted as many as 99 applications for a recreational lounge in October, of which 40 became licensees. Half of them concern locations attached to a retail shop dispensary, and the other half are independent lounges dedicated to marijuana consumption. 

"We have got a long road ahead of us, it is a whole new venture here in Nevada we are just ready to take it by storm," one of the social equity recipients, Chandler Cooks, told local news reporters. 

Cannabis consumption lounges are expected to boost "cannotourism" in Nevada. It will allow people to smoke marijuana the same way they enjoy a glass of wine or beer when they go to a restaurant. They can sit around and smoke while being served steak or entertained by live music. 

Consumption lounges are expected to normalize cannabis use further, however, licenses are not cheap to obtain. It could cost anywhere around $100,000 dollars to get a lounge license. In addition, Nevada applicants were reportedly asked to show $200,000 dollars in liquid assets throughout the application period. 

Besides Nevada, California is another state preparing to rejuvenate its adult-use market with cannabis consumption lounges. Las Vegas and Hollywood are both set to emerge as the leaders in the consumption lounge sector. 

Stephen Andrews