Las Vegas could prove to be one of the hottest markets for cannabis.
Nevada is already seeing tremendous sales growth and with a lot of tourists regularly going through the town and Planet 13 (CSE:PLTH) working on what could be a can’t-miss venue for cannabis enthusiasts, there’s a lot of potential growth left for both City and State. And last week, the City got yet another big boost when it was announced that Las Vegas would allow marijuana lounges.
One of the challenges for the industry thus far has been that while there might be places to buy pot, there aren’t many places where you can smoke it. That’s where lounges could have significant appeal for cannabis users that are looking for a way to consume cannabis in a social setting. Alcohol is a great example of where having a great social atmosphere has been significant to the industry’s growth, and it could do the same for marijuana.
What the new law says
Under the recently passed law, cannabis users will have to be at least 21 years of age to enter a lounge and would have to bring their own cannabis. And while venues won’t be able to sell or distribute cannabis, they will be able to sell paraphernalia. One of the more interesting requirements set out by the city is that there will be “odor standards” that lounges will need to meet.
And for the first year, lounges will only be able to be operated by dispensaries that have been licensed in the city. Since the companies have already been vetted, it can help to accelerate the process.
Even for council members that may not necessarily be keen on marijuana, passing the bill was a step that made sense given where the State was on legalization:
I’m not advocating smoking marijuana, but what I am advocating for is making sure we as a government agency do not create criminals by basically not giving them an outlet after we’ve passed a state law
– Michele Fiore, Las Vegas City Council
It’s a great move for Las Vegas that could help cannabis sales flourish even further. Despite marijuana being legal for recreational use in 10 U.S. States, lounges still remain rare. There are places in Alaska and California (including San Francisco) which permit lounges, but there aren’t many other options for cannabis users. Even in Denver where are there are two lounges, due to clean air rules, vaping is allowed but smoking pot is not.
For the cities that have lounges, it gives them an added advantage over places that don’t. Given the popularity of cannabis and the strong sales that we’ve seen, there’s likely to be strong demand for lounges and that means a big win for the City of Las Vegas.
The big winner in all this might be Planet 13. Given the company’s hopes of being a one-stop shop for cannabis users, a lounge would make perfect sense for its SuperStore. And given the slow rate of movement we’ve seen across the country when it comes to legalizing cannabis, it might be a big advantage that Planet 13 and other cannabis companies in the State hold for a long time.