Las Vegas Strip Problem About to Go Up In Smoke

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Planet 13 Las Vegas
Work is ongoing to build a cannabis consumption lounge at Planet 13 about a mile off the Las Vegas Strip. Photo: Shutterstock

A lot of people indulge in their favorite vices when visiting the Las Vegas Strip.

You can drink in bars, gamble in casinos, and eat whatever you want in restaurants. Las Vegas has always been a city of indulgence, someplace that gives you a place to engage in nearly anything you can imagine, unless, of course, you want to smoke cannabis.

Cannabis has been legal in Nevada since 2017. You can’t buy it directly on the Strip or at your favorite Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Free Report or MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get Free Report property because federal gaming laws take precedence, but the area just off the Las Vegas Strip has become dotted with dispensaries.

So, as a tourist, it’s very easy to legally buy marijuana. If you purchase it as an edible, a tincture, a beverage, or any other non-smokeable form, you can buy your cannabis and consume it pretty much anywhere.

If you prefer to smoke your marijuana, however, you’re sort of out of luck as Nevada state law only makes it legal to smoke cannabis in a private residence. Since tourists mostly stay in hotels where smoking marijuana is prohibited even in rooms where smoking cigarettes is allowed, that means you can buy a joint, pack a bowl, or fill your bong, but legally you can’t light up.

In reality, people simply ignore the law and smoke in the parking lots and alleys all along the Las Vegas Strip. The police allow that to happen, but it has led to the entire city smelling like pot, which is probably not the message that even a city known for its vices wants to embrace.

Now, months after the state and Clark County officials approved marijuana consumption lounges, the first ones are set to open near the Las Vegas Strip. So, after five years of semi-clandestine smoking, people legally buying marijuana will also have a place (lots of them) where they can legally smoke it.

Planet 13 Will Offer One Of The First Cannabis Consumption Lounges
Las Vegas currently has a single cannabis consumption lounge, the recently renamed NuWu Dispensary, which sits on land owned by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. Since it’s on sovereign land, it’s not subject to regulation by the Cannabis Compliance Board.

That lounge is close to downtown Las Vegas, but not near the Strip. The first consumption lounges approved by the Board that will operate near the Las Vegas Strip are set to open soon.

The board has approved two licenses, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, one for Thrive Cannabis Marketplace and the other for Planet 13 (PLNHF) , the largest dispensary in Las Vegas. Thrive, plans to open in late November, while Planet 13 is targeting early 2024.

Planet 13 Has Big Marijuana Consumption Plans
Planet 13 has been called the “Walmart” of cannabis, but it’s actually a lot more upscale. The company’s Las Vegas dispensary offers a restaurant and coffee shop (neither of which sells any cannabis-infused products) as well as a massive sales floor.

The company got its approval from the Cannabis Compliance Board in June.

“Receiving this confirmation from the state allows us to move on to the final design and buildout of our consumption lounge,” said Co-CEO Larry Scheffler in an email to TheStreet. “The consumption lounge will be a huge step to unlocking the full potential of the SuperStore as a cannabis destination. It will give customers the ability to try products prior to buying, watch live entertainment, and enjoy food and drink in a social setting that matches Planet 13’s incredible experiential design standard.”

Planet 13’s consumption lounge will have space for live entertainment and will be able to be booked for private events, brand launches, and other unique events.

The company also plans to add Cannabition (headed by Keneh Ventures), a brand-new 12,000-square-foot “whimsical and visually breathtaking environment, tailor-made for cannabis enthusiasts seeking an awe-inspiring and “Instagrammable” experience” to its current “Superstore” location.

“We can’t wait to have Cannabition open in our SuperStore with its fascinating interactive exhibits to continue to separate Planet 13 Las Vegas as a one-of-a-kind immersive entertainment experience for our customers,” said Planet 13 Co-CEO Bob Groesbeck.