Marijuana and Smoking

In this Friday, March 29, 2019 photo, a man smokes a joint at a Spleef NYC canna-cocktail party in New York. As more states make it legal to smoke marijuana, some government officials, researchers and others worry what that might mean for one of the country's biggest public health successes: curbing cigarette smoking.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- While the City of Las Vegas gave pot lounges the green light, Governor Steve Sisolak may be pumping the brakes.

Part of AB533 would halt the city from handing out licenses for two more years. Gov. Sisolak requested that change.

His spokesperson sent FOX5 a statement:

The governor believes that it’s better to address this issue the right way than the quick way, which is why he’s establishing the Cannabis Compliance Board to address some of the issues that have arisen as a result of rushed decisions made in the past and to establish a comprehensive, statewide regulatory structure that will make Nevada’s cannabis industry the gold standard in the nation. The governor believes that consumption lounges have a place in the future of Nevada’s rapidly-growing cannabis industry, and looks forward to the work that the CCB will do in the interim to ensure that this part of the industry is well-positioned to add to the job creation and economic growth our cannabis industry has brought to the state.

But dispensaries in the city said this whole thing has been anything but rushed. Now they are frustrated and disappointed that it looks like they’ll have to wait even longer.

Acres Dispensary showed FOX5 the space they had set aside before the city council approved marijuana consumption lounges.

“I was super excited,” customer Courtney Anderson said. “You know, you'd have somewhere to go and smoke your marijuana.”

But after what they called a huge step forward, “It’s a huge step back. It is a huge step back, not having consumption lounges then kicking it another two years into the future,” cannabis consultant Jason Sturtsman said. “There are dispensaries that have already applied for a special use permit in the City of Las Vegas, and unfortunately, they're not going to be able to move forward.”

Part of AB533 would create a Cannabis Compliance Board and limit local governments from granting pot lounge licenses until summer 2021.

“We had the chance to have the biggest, baddest, most awesome consumption lounges in the whole entire world,” Sturtsman said.

He added not only does this back-and-forth between the city and state cause confusion, this means people still won’t have a safe place to use marijuana.

“There is going to be an increase in consumption, public consumption, up and down the Strip, tourists getting fined,” he said.

Meanwhile, marijuana dispensaries in the city are remaining hopeful they can find a way to continue pursuing their pot lounge plans.

“Maybe there could be some wiggle room there,” Sturtsman said. “I would hope that there could be a Hail Mary there.”

The gaming industry has been the most outspoken opponent of pot lounges.

Metro police got on board, as long as lounges do not sell alcohol.

It’s still unclear how the city would be affected by this. That’s something its legal team is looking into. The assembly bill still needs to be voted on in the full legislature.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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