Cannabis business owners ready to open consumption lounges in ‘America’s’ Amsterdam

10th September 2021

Cannabis firms in Nevada are getting ready to welcome millions of guests to their new lounges starting early next year.

According to a report by MJ Biz Daily, cannabis sales in Nevada are set to skyrocket thanks to the development of consumption lounges in the state and, especially, in Las Vegas – a city that hosts tens of millions of people visit annually.

Layke Martin, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said: “When recreational cannabis was legalised here, it was legalised without a place for tourists to consume it.

“You weren’t legally allowed to consume it in public. Lounges create a space where cannabis products can be consumed legally.”

As Canex reported a few months ago, after the Nevada Governor signed a bill that would allow the licencing and regulation of cannabis consumption lounges, Las Vegas could see its first Amsterdam-esque venues open in the near future – the first licences are expected to be issued in mid-2022, to be more precise.

MJ Biz Daily also reports that, according to the new law, regulators can offer two new types of marijuana business licenses related to consumption lounges.

One for retailers that want to open consumption lounges on the same property as their retail shops; and another for stand-alone lounges that will be limited to single-use products, in the same manner as bars that sell alcohol.

The rules for consumption lounges are as follows:

  • Only the owner of a licensed adult-use store is eligible for a retail cannabis consumption lounge license – one person cannot hold both retail and independent cannabis consumption lounge licenses.
  • At least half the licenses – 10 of the first 20 – issued to independent cannabis consumption lounges must be awarded to social equity applicants. A social equity applicant is someone who has been adversely affected by laws that criminalised cannabis-related activity.
  • The one-time, non-refundable application fee for a retail cannabis consumption lounge is $100,000, while the fee for an independent lounge is $10,000.

The news of Nevada’s future cannabis lounges comes after a report about the danger Amsterdam’s cannabis coffeeshops face.

Aside from the implications of the Coronavirus pandemic, business owners are also concerned about Amsterdam’s Mayor, Femke Halsema and her proposal.

The mayor – and many others in the country – claim that the coffeeshops have become a problem for locals as the cannabis market was “too big and overheated”.

This has resulted in calls for reforms to make the market more “manageable” – meaning it is a possibility that foreign tourists will be banned from such venues in Amsterdam.

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