Trading booze for bud: Las Vegas dispensary will give up alcohol license to open pot lounge

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:16 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A popular Las Vegas dispensary and event venue plans to give up its alcohol license in order to open a cannabis lounge, where users can smoke and consume marijuana.

Lounges will finally open across the Silver State starting in early 2023. The Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) has strict guidelines for establishment operations, including a “no alcohol” policy to prevent over-intoxication and DUIs.

Planet 13, a popular destination for tourists, has expressed interest to the CCB in launching a lounge. It’s one of the few establishments with an operational restaurant that serves alcohol, and hosts events and weddings.

“It’s been something that has been transformative for the business, where we’re pushing the envelope as far as cannabis, in the country. We’ve made the determination that we will most likely be forfeiting that alcohol license. We feel like that’s the best decision to make... That’s been a big push for tourists,” said David Farris of Planet 13.

“In the restaurant, where customers go and sit down, the first question they ask is, ‘Is there an ability for us to have cannabis, or is there cannabis consumption here?’ Our dream has always been for you to be able to purchase, see products being made, and then consume them as well,” Farris said.

All prospective lounges and applicants must submit a DUI prevention plan. Farris said staff already are trained in spotting overconsumption of alcohol, and currently utilize rideshares and taxis to encourage customers to travel safely, Farris said.

Planet 13 has hosted weddings for couples through Las Vegas Cannabis Weddings, and owner Maxine Fensom believes the lounges will be a huge draw for receptions.

“They’re so passionate about the plant. It’s also giving people an opportunity to not just have a normal wedding, but have a wedding with the plant that they love,” Fensom said.

Will the wedding party and guests miss alcohol? Fensom doesn’t believe so.

“It’s a matter of personal taste. If they’re booking a cannabis wedding, that’s what they want to do,” Fensom said. “They can sit down and have an amazing reception, also to be able to smoke as well,” she said.

According to the CCB, prospective license holders will be subject to a suitability check as well as a pre-opening inspection. The CCB board must vote to grant applicants a license.