In the cannabis legal landscape, one of the rising trends in state law is cannabis lounge licensing. So far, Colorado, Illinois, California, and Nevada have all moved toward cannabis lounges and in 2022, we are finally seeing the first of those venues open in Nevada.
Nevada cannabis lounge law is new and the opportunity is an interesting one for both existing dispensaries and private entrepreneurs looking to start an independent lounge location. Nevada is offering socially-conscious licensing to dispensaries to open their own internal lounge and for private venues to start independent cannabis lounges. But what, exactly are the rules and what can you expect from the burgeoning cannabis lounge market in Nevada?
Getting a Nevada Cannabis Lounge License
Cannabis lounge licenses will be issued based on the qualifications, business plan, and background of the applicant. It will cost ten times more to license a dispensary lounge than to license a private lounge, and there will be a planned preference for diverse impact-reversing licensing selection.
$10K License for Independent Lounges
For private lounges and investors looking to open an independent cannabis lounge, applying for a license will cost $10,000, even if you are not approved or selected.
$100K Licenses to Open a Dispensary Lounge
Existing cannabis dispensaries can apply for a license to open an internal lounge in one of their dispensary locations. However, the cost of a dispensary lounge license is ten times that for independent locations. A dispensary cannabis lounge license in Nevada will pay $100K to apply.
One Lounge Per Dispensary *Brand*
Each cannabis dispensary brand will only be permitted to receive one lounge license – no matter how many locations you have open. This will force brands to choose wisely and push the cannabis lounge market toward independent yet affiliated private locations.
Equity Licensing Preference and Discounts
Equity licenses are those licenses given to applicants who have been negatively impacted by cannabis law enforcement in the past. This will favor black and Latinx applicants with a history of loss or criminal prosecution due to anti-cannabis enforcement. This is part of the movement to use the cannabis legal industry to counterbalance the damage done during years of persecution-based prohibition. It is also to prevent the existing trend of white male dominance over approved licenses—a proven cultural bias when seeking ‘trusted’ professionals.
Discounts for the licenses will also be provided to equity license holders. The first 10 of 20 independent cannabis consumption lounges must be equity-qualified licenses.
What You Can Serve in a Cannabis Lounge?
The burning question in every canna-preneur’s mind right now is what can be served in a cannabis lounge. You can already visualize the pool tables, couches, and booths, but what will be on the menu?
The 341 Bill defines your cannabis lounge menu as limited to “single-serving” cannabis products and “ready-to-consume” cannabis edibles.
Ready-to-Consume Cannabis Edibles
- Cannabis products presented as food and drink
- Prepared on-site in the cannabis lounge premises
- Presented in heated or unheated state
- Ready for immediate consumption in the lounge
- Max 100mg THC per edible
Single-Serving Cannabis Products
- Cannabis products that are not ready-to-consume edibles
- Prepared for use in the lounge
- 10mg is a “serving”
- No More Than
- 1-ounce usable cannabis
- One-eighth ounce concentrate
- 100mg THC capsule or 800 mg THC capsule package
- 800mg THC tincture
- 100mg THC edible
- 6% Topical
- 100mg per transdermal patch or 800mg patch package
One dominant rule for cannabis lounges is that all cannabis bought is consumed on-site. Presumably, dispensary clients can still leave the premise with a sealed bag of take-home products – but independent lounges and – presumably – dispensary lounges are not allowed to provide cannabis products for on-site enjoyment that then leave the premises.
According to Bill 341, cannabis lounges are permitted to serve “ready to consume cannabis products” meaning an adult-use edible
Paiute NuWu Lounge and Planet 13 Show Us How It's Done
Want to see how it’s being done? The Paiute tribe in Las Vegas opened the first cannabis lounge, paving the way for legal reform. Planet 13, the just-off-strip cannabis superstore of Las Vegas is making the most of its one-per-brand lounge license with a spacious, two-story 8,500 square foot cannabis lounge including a grand staircase and a splash pool.