Nevada Resort Association urges hold-up on marijuana lounges

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Jeff Chiu/ AP Customers smoke cannabis in the smoking lounge at Barbary Coast Dispensary in San Francisco. Las Vegas is thinking about a regulation to enable cannabis lounges.

Nevada’s leading video gaming and resort advocacy group is advising Las Vegas officials to hold off on a proposed ordinance to permit marijuana intake lounges.

In a letter Tuesday to Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine said the proposed hookah-style lounges– where legal amounts of pot might be consumed by adults 21 and over– would create “distinct obstacles” for casinos near the lounges.

” Recreational marijuana has just been legal in Nevada considering that July 1, 2017, and it still relatively brand-new in other states,” Valentine wrote. “Consequently, neighborhoods have little or no experience with the effects of lounges on the neighborhoods or surrounding businesses.”

The letter, copied to members of the Las Vegas City Board, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Las Vegas City Supervisor Scott Adams, concludes by asking the city to delay opening the lounges “till more information is readily available from other jurisdictions.”

Councilman Bob Casket, who has led the city’s efforts to progress with the lounges– which would also enable food and alcohol service– said the Resort Association already has made its opposition clear and Tuesday’s letter “will not slow us down.”

Gambling establishments in downtown Las Vegas have “been quiet” on the concern, he said.

Casket stated city officials have been moving slowly on the problem and that Valentine’s letter will be “part of the process” as city authorities weigh viewpoints from advocacy groups. A city advisory committee will likely move the pot lounge proposition forward to be heard by the City Council in late October or early November, Casket said.

Tuesday’s letter appears to oppose the opinion of some leading video gaming operators in the Las Vegas Valley, which have formerly promoted for lounges as sanctuaries for cannabis users to consume pot rather of within gambling establishments.

Speaking last year in favor of weed lounges as part of a Clark County marijuana advisory panel, Andy Abboud, senior vice president of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., stated the lounges would minimize the number of travelers who smuggle cannabis into their hotel rooms and quietly use it in prohibited locations. The panel promoted consumption lounges off the Strip.

Valentine and other representatives from the Nevada Resort Association did not immediately respond to ask for remark. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was out of the workplace today and not offered for comment.

Riana Durrett, the Nevada Dispensary Association’s executive director, stated the state’s leading pot advocacy organization stayed neutral on the expense. Its more than 50 members are split on the lounges.

” It actually varies by dispensary and by owner,” Durrett said. “The association doesn’t take a position on it.”

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