Las Vegas Sun

February 21, 2019

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County puts brakes on marijuana lounge discussions, for now

Segerblom

Chris Kudialis

Clark County Commissioner-elect Tick Segerblom and North Las Vegas Councilman Isaac Barron listen as Nate Haas, executive director of Barbary Coast, speaks during a tour of the San Francisco facility’s marijuana consumption lounge and clients of the lounge imbibe in the background Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. Barbary Coast is one of three dispensaries in San Francisco to offer a designated consumption area for its clients.

County commissioners are yielding the issue of public marijuana lounges in unincorporated areas of Clark County to the state for now.

The Clark County Commission today postponed discussions on the lounges, pending possible decisions from the state Legislature on the issue.

Gov. Steve Sisolak has named an advisory board to discuss the formation of a Cannabis Compliance Board with the Legislature over the 2019 session. Commissioner Tick Segerblom said the governor’s office asked the commission to let the new board take lead on the issue.

Clark County created its Green Ribbon Advisory Panel in 2017, and the group was tasked with finding recommendations for marijuana lounges. The group will cease to meet for now, pending state action on the issue.

Commissioner Lawrence Weekly expressed support for more consistent marijuana laws across different areas, and he said he appreciated the work Segerblom had done with various municipalities on the issue.

“I do believe that all the municipalities need to get on one accord and not send folks running all over the place doing something different on one side of the municipality (as) opposed to the other side,” Weekly said.

The question of where marijuana can be consumed has been an issue since the recreational use of pot became legal in Nevada in 2017. Under state law as of now, the only place marijuana can be consumed legally is on private property that is not opened to the general public. That hasn’t stopped public consumption from happening, including on the Las Vegas Strip, which falls under the county's jurisdiction.

Tourists often don’t realize the law bars them from public consumption. They may turn to edibles or vapor pens for more discreet ingestion.

The Las Vegas City Council is expected continue its discussion of marijuana lounges when its Recommending Committee meets on Feb. 19.