- These new consumption lounges can pave the way for cannabis businesses to get creative with their offerings.
- Current retailers are able to apply for a separate license category to build lounges into their existing operations.
- When marijuana does become federally legalized, cannabis consumption lounges could very well be the way of the future.
Cannabis consumption lounges have been making appearances across the nation. Slowed by the pandemic, they are gradually making a comeback, with Nevada being the latest state to award consumption lounge licenses in late November.
According to Marijuana Moment, Nevada announced the winners of the state’s first 40 cannabis consumption lounge licensees, with twenty going to new independent businesses and the other half going to existing cannabis retailers that will be opening up social use areas. State regulators say they expect the lounges to open in the first half of 2023.
Cannabis Lounges Across the Nation
California currently has cannabis consumption lounges open primarily in San Francisco and Oakland, and most are marijuana smoking rooms. Other municipalities in Southern California and the Central Valley are finally getting the green light to open lounges in those areas. Meaning the number of these cannabis consumption locations are expected to double — or even triple — over the next year or two from the dozen or so that are currently operating.
New Jersey marijuana regulators also recently approved rules for “public cannabis consumption areas” on December 2. That brings the state one step closer to providing the social use option to adults and patients. Other states that currently have open cannabis consumption lounges include Illinois, Massachusetts, and Colorado, with Arizona hosting their very own cannabis-friendly hotel.
The Cannabis Lounge Lottery Process
For Nevada’s lottery event, regulators used random number selector software to pick the winning applicants. These developments come more than a year after Gov. Sisolak signed a bill from Assemblyman Steve Yeager legalizing consumption lounges.
Current retailers are able to apply for a separate license category to build lounges into their existing operations, and they are not subject to a competitive selection process.
Lotteries were for ‘independent lounge licenses’ for businesses that sought to enter into a contract with a retailer to purchase and prepare ready-to-consume marijuana products for resale at brand new facilities.
Getting Creative With Cannabis
These new consumption lounges can pave the way for cannabis businesses to get creative with their offerings. These include infusing marijuana into food and beverages or hosting consumption events. Even though cannabis is still federally illegal, many of the infused dining options work around these restrictions by only offering CBD-infused items.
Some chefs also opt to feature terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in cannabis, instead of oil-based CBD extractions. These concoctions are typically presented as terpene rich cocktails or mocktails.
When marijuana does become federally legalized, cannabis consumption lounges could very well be the way of the future.