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Washoe Commissioners Extinguish Cannabis Lounges

On a party line vote, cannabis lounges went “up in smoke” at Tuesday’s Washoe County Commission meeting

By Megan Barth, July 12, 2023 10:36 am

On a party line vote, cannabis lounges went “up in smoke” at Tuesday’s Washoe County Commission meeting with Republican Commissioners Jeanne Herman, Mike Clark and Clara Andriola voted to reject lounges, while Democratic commissioners Alexis Hill and Mariluz Garcia voted in support of lounges.

According to Channel 4:

Cannabis lounges were allowed by the state legislature in 2021, with supporters arguing such spaces were needed so that tourists and locals could have a place to legally consume.

Commissioner Clark, whose district includes Sol Cannabis, said he was not a prude and wasn’t personally against lounges, but was voting with his constituents.

Commissioner Andriola, a relative newcomer to the commission, voted against lounges because she said it was still the ‘wild, wild, West,’ without a standardized marijuana impairment test approved by federal transportation officials.

Ed Alexander, the owner of Sol Cannabis, told News 4-Fox 11 after the vote that he was disappointed in the outcome, which he said would result in people continuing to smoke pot illegally in public spaces instead of in regulated lounges.

In 2016, Nevada voters approved Question 2 which allowed for the recreational use of marijuana in private residences, but any tourist or local walking down the strip soon realizes that recreational pot users are not aware of the law or are simply too high to care. Without police enforcement, the prohibition to private residences is simply moot.

Last December, six of the seven Democratic commissioners in Clark County voted to approve cannabis lounges with Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick voting “no”. The vote came after the state Cannabis Compliance Board announced it had issued 40 lounge licenses.

However, due to burdensome regulations, the astronomic costs of ventilation systems, and bureaucratic red tape, lounge openings have been delayed.

Currently, the only cannabis lounge, located near downtown Las Vegas is on tribal land and is regulated by the Las Vegas Pauite Tribe, not state government.



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