Chris Donovan / The New York Times
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 4:09 p.m.
CARSON CITY — Almost a week after the introduction of a bill to create a statewide Cannabis Compliance Board, Nevada lawmakers heard a proposed amendment to give counties the authority to grant marijuana consumption lounge licenses.
The bill, which was introduced last week with less than 20 days left in the legislative session, got its first hearing today.
Gov. Steve Sisolak’s general counsel, J. Brin Gibson, who served as chair of the Cannabis Compliance Board Advisory Panel, said tackling the issues of consumption lounges was complicated but necessary so the state wouldn’t end up with a patchwork of laws.
Under the bill, the state would set regulations for lounges that counties would have to follow. They include not selling cannabis products on the premises, not allowing anyone under 21 to enter and restrictions on the distance of the lounges to casinos.
While recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada, it can now only be used at private residences.
Krystal Saab, legal counsel for Nevada Organic Remedies and The Source dispensary, testified in support of the bill. “This bill and resulting regulatory framework will further cement Nevada’s cannabis industry as the gold standard for how to safely legalize and control the sale of medicinal and adult-use cannabis,” she said.
The city of Las Vegas voted recently to allow consumption lounges, the first municipality to do so in the state.
Under the proposed amendment, municipalities would not have the power to go around county decisions on consumption lounges — so if Clark County didn’t allow them, the Las Vegas lounges wouldn’t be legal.
"The city is evaluating and monitoring the bill in question," Las Vegas spokesman Jace Radke said.