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Cannabis industry voices concerns to Las Vegas officials over pot lounge rules

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:23 AM MST

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Local businesses, entrepreneurs and industry insiders called for change Wednesday from Las Vegas city officials after a rule has not changed that mandates lounges be 1,000 feet apart.

People in the industry have hopes of creating a “Cannabis District” in the Arts District or downtown Las Vegas.

According to the Cannabis Compliance Board, 12 applicants can open a lounge in the city of Las Vegas, and only in the city limits.

“The city of Las Vegas’ jurisdictional boundaries are only so big, right before we start stepping into Clark County. We’re all looking to be maybe the art district or downtown somewhere,” said Chandler Cooks, who was awarded a prospective license for a social equity-based consumption lounge.

““We really see an opportunity for the Arts District specifically to be built with cannabis commerce. We would hate for this regulation which is not the most ideal to go into effect,” said Tina Ulman of the Chamber of Cannabis. The Chamber said events such as First Friday would blend well with a potential budding cannabis corridor where customers can lounge-hop with late-night events.

The 1,000-foot mandate was passed back in 2019 when the city first created lounge regulations. The distance is a standard benchmark for restricted businesses, according to city officials at the meeting. Distance waivers had previously been removed for other bars and establishments to serve alcohol, they said.

Cooks argues that lounges in close proximity also prevent consuming and driving—just like with bars.

Paul Murad has helped cannabis businesses find real estate to open.

“No other business has that requirement. Imagine walking from restaurant to restaurant. Three football fields? It just makes zero sense in planning, in urban design, and commerce,” Murad said.

City officials told meeting participants that they relayed the feedback to city council.

A city spokesperson didn’t have a comment for FOX5 but said that the issue will be reviewed at the March 1 meeting.

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