LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Lexi Hotel, which has billed itself as the first “cannabis-inclusive property” in Las Vegas, is set to open its doors on Friday, June 2.
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The small, 65-room boutique hotel will allow any guests staying on its fourth floor to consume cannabis inside their rooms. According to the hotel operators, nobody will be allowed to smoke elsewhere on the property, including the hallways, other floors, or public areas.
But the legality of such a hotel is in question as it does not hold one of the state’s 40 cannabis consumption lounge licenses. And the law surrounding private hotel room cannabis use falls into a “gray area,” Lexi hotel operators argued.
“We don't sell any cannabis on property. But if you have your own, we will tolerate and accept that you partake—on the fourth floor only—where we have equipped those rooms with special units that filter the air,” said Alexander Rizk, the CEO of Pro Hospitality Group.
“And the law is, you know, on one side also very gray. But it's not even dark gray, it's very light gray. Your room for the night is your residence for that night.”
Rizk was referencing how Nevada law prohibits cannabis consumption in public places, but he said their counsel determined a hotel room is a private residence. Using that “gray area,” the hotel appears poised to skirt the state law.
Under the ‘Consuming Cannabis’ section of The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CBB) website, it states “You cannot use cannabis in any public place” and “Cannabis can only be consumed on private property (at home, for example), and as long as the property owner has not prohibited it.”
“The Lexi does not hold a state cannabis license of any type, including for a cannabis consumption lounge,” the CBB said in a statement to News 3. “The CCB has not been contacted by The Lexi, and so, we cannot comment on the legality of their specific business plans without additional information.”
The Lexi property, formerly known as the Artisan, sits on Sahara Ave next to I-15, falling into the City of Las Vegas jurisdiction.
When reached for comment, a City spokesperson reiterated the Lexi has a license to operate a hotel, but not a consumption lounge.
“The hotel’s location is within a 1,500-foot radius of a hotel-casino (The Palace Station), so the Lexi does not meet the minimum distance requirement to apply for a consumption lounge license,” the City added. “The state law on marijuana consumption provides guidance on where cannabis can be used publicly and privately.”
The City did not directly address whether or not the hotel will be operating legally come Friday.
But Alexander Rizk, the CEO, said he is confident they’ll be within state compliance and won’t have to shut down or make changes. Rizk said their security would enforce the rules of no public consumption outside of the fourth floor rooms.
The hotel’s website FAQ page said the Lexi does not allow tobacco outside designated areas since it is a non-smoking facility.
“We want to be pioneers into helping create the proper laws,” said Rizk. “And as these brand new laws are evolving, we want to be the ones that trailblaze these laws and help write them in order to make sure that they are adequate.”
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, a longtime cannabis proponent and advocate, said he thinks the Lexi’s interpretation of the law is sufficient and they should be allowed to operate.
He doesn’t believe the CBB has any jurisdiction in how the Lexi plans to operate.
“They could lose their hotel license, which is a big deal. But hopefully, they can work with the City and reach a compromise,” said Segerblom. “No harm, no foul. And who are they hurting? The reality is if you go to the Strip, people are walking up and down the strip smoking. So if they use it in their hotel room, that seems to be better for everybody.”
The Lexi will also offer other amenities including dining, a bar and lounge, and outdoor pool that will be topless, or “European style,” as they call it.