Las Vegas Gives Green Light to Cannabis Lounges

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Las Vegas is taking the cannabis experience to a whole new level following the recent passage of a law legalizing social-use venues for marijuana use.

Groups will soon be able to book off-site events at these upcoming cannabis lounges. The move has some, including John Mueller, CEO of Acres Cannabis, dubbing the city the “new” or “little Amsterdam.”

Acres Cannabis is one of about a half-dozen dispensaries in Las Vegas planning to open a consumption lounge, according to Mueller.

“We think we’re going to offer something unique,” he said. “We will elevate the experience in the tradition of Las Vegas.

The upcoming 8,500-sf lounge, which has not yet been named, will be part of the Acres Cannabis 19,000-sf complex on Western Avenue, which includes its dispensary.

Also on-site is a 2,000-sf open-view kitchen showcasing its edible production and cannabis extraction operations. Attendees can also visit the Underground: Marijuana Farmers Market on-site, which allows small growers and producers to share their creations direct with attendees. They can also visit the Acres’ cannabis museum.

Groups can arrange museum tours, and when the lounge opens later this year, will be able to use it for open event space accommodating 300 to 400.

Plans also call for a full-service kitchen launched with the Morton family – founders of famed Morton’s The Steakhouse in Chicago.

Existing dispensary owners like Acres Cannabis have been approved by the Las Vegas City Council to open lounges. Those without a state license to sell marijuana are allowed to seek permits for off-site lounges starting in 2020.

The law, however, doesn’t allow social venues on The Strip, which is technically part of Clark County rather than Las Vegas. Nevada legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, but the law only allowed people to smoke at private residences.

While some reports allude to the possible deflection of business off-Strip, Mueller emphasizes that his lounge can be used as a mid-size event space, not a threat to the large spaces offered at the Strip’s casinos.

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