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September 19, 2019

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Segerblom: Marijuana lounges needed to capitalize on pot tourism


Jeff Chiu / AP

In this file photo, customers smoke marijuana while sitting in a booth in the smoking lounge at Barbary Coast Dispensary in San Francisco.

Nevada needs marijuana lounges to capitalize on tourism surrounding the legal recreational pot industry, Clark County Commissioner-elect Tick Segerblom said on Nevada Newsmakers.

Segerblom, who championed the recreational marijuana industry as a state senator before he was elected to the commission in November, made up his mind about marijuana lounges after visiting some in San Francisco, he said.

“What we really need to get this tourism off the ground are these pot lounges, so we can actually legitimately say,‘Come to Nevada, purchase it and there’s a place to use it,” he told host Sam Shad.

Adults — including tourists — can legally purchase marijuana at licensed dispensaries in Nevada but under the law, it’s only legal to smoke it at a private residence.

The potential for marijuana tourism in the Las Vegas area is huge, Segerblom said.

“We really haven’t even begun to tap the recreational tourism market,” he said. “Most all of the sales so far have been local sales. And you can see they are going up, so obviously there a demand just within Nevada.”

The biggest challenge for potential marijuana lounges is figuring out how to make money without actually having a license to sell marijuana.

“Just to have someone buy their own marijuana, bring it in and smoke it doesn’t really generate any money,” he said. “So what is the point?”

Segerblom said he sees lounges becoming part of established marijuana dispensaries, like some of the lounges he saw in San Francisco. They could also sell food and alcoholic beverages, he said.