Nevada Issues First License To A Lounge In Las Vegas Where Cannabis Can Be Consumed Recreationally

FILE - In this July 1, 2017, file photo, a cashier rings up a marijuana sale at a cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas. On Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, Nevada regulators have issued the first license to operate a lounge where cannabis can be consumed recreationally, marking the first of what are expected to be dozens of such operations. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
FILE - In this July 1, 2017, file photo, a cashier rings up a marijuana sale at a cannabis dispensary in Las Vegas. On Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, Nevada regulators have issued the first license to operate a lounge where cannabis can be consumed recreationally, marking the first of what are expected to be dozens of such operations. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada regulators have issued the first license to operate a lounge where cannabis can be consumed recreationally, marking the first of what are expected to be dozens of such operations.

The state Cannabis Compliance Board announced Thursday that the license was awarded to a business in Las Vegas following an inspection by agents earlier this week. The lounge — dubbed Smoke and Mirrors — is owned by Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, the state’s largest independently owned cannabis business.

There are currently 19 lounges that have been approved by the compliance board for a conditional license. A final inspection will be required before a license is granted and they can open to the public.

It’s been years since Nevada voters first approved legalizing recreational cannabis. In 2021, lawmakers cleared the way for business owners to apply for licenses to establish on-site consumption lounges.

The state’s cannabis industry had promoted the lounges for their economic development potential and pitched them as a draw for tourists who visit Las Vegas annually but can’t legally use the products in places like hotels.

Thrive Cannabis Marketplace officials said their consumption lounge will open to the public in late February. It will have a range of products for customers — including cannabis-infused cocktails — and will serve as a hub for artists and musicians to showcase their work.

“It’s more than a venue, it’s a platform for the cannabis industry as a whole, where tourists and locals alike can be a part of a new chapter in the evolution of hospitality,” said Chris LaPorte, managing partner of RESET, a Las Vegas-based cannabis hospitality company.