Despite cannabis becoming a multi million-dollar industry in Nevada and thousands of people traveling to Las Vegas every month for legal cannabis access, there are surprisingly few locations where the open consumption of cannabis is legally permitted.
Due to a variety of federal laws regarding both cannabis and gaming, the consumption of cannabis is prohibited at almost every casino, resort and hotel property in Las Vegas. Until recently, consumption of cannabis outside of private property (like a residence) has been strictly prohibited in Nevada.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any places whatsoever to legally consume cannabis in Las Vegas. In fact, there are currently a few very notable options for the endless number of tourists that visit annually to consume at.
Two Legal Consumption Venues are Open in Nevada as of October 2023
Founded on the Paiute tribal land located just minutes from Downtown Las Vegas, NuWu Cannabis Marketplace touts Las Vegas’ first and only legally operating cannabis consumption lounge, the 16,000 sq. ft Sky High Lounge. Sky High Lounge has an outdoor courtyard and a full service, walk-up cannabis bar & lounge with beverages, dabs, flower and more. Reservations are not required but we recommend contacting the venue to confirm availability for table seatings. The menu at NuWu is incredibly vast and has all of the popular, award-winning brands and choices for cannabis products available in Las Vegas.
The 64-room The Lexi Hotel is priding itself as the first “cannabis-inclusive” hotel. The rooms on The Lexi’s fourth floor are considered “cannabis friendly rooms” where BYO consumption is allowed. Each room is equipped with commercial-grade RestorAir filtration systems. While open consumption around the rest of the resort property is not permitted, the hotel is certainly the best option for a cannabis-friendly hotel stay. By law, cannabis-consumption is only allowed in designated guest rooms on the fourth floor and The Lexi is an adults only, 21+ property. Aside from the cannabis-friendly fourth floor, The Lexi offers guests a European style pool, restaurant, bar and lounge for guests to enjoy during their stay.
The Rules Have Recently Changed
The rules around public cannabis consumption in Nevada changed significantly during the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session, when Assemblyman Steve Yeager sponsored and championed the groundbreaking Assembly Bill 341. The bill authorized the licensure and operation of full-fledged cannabis consumption lounges where customers can purchase and legally consume cannabis in a social atmosphere.
While Cark County and The City of Las Vegas have both passed ordinances defining the rules for cannabis lounges to open, a fair amount of jurisdictions have opted-out entirely including Boulder City, Henderson, North Las Vegas and more. A full list can be found at the end of this article.
Looking into the very near future, Las Vegas has a lot of new consumption lounge experiences to look forward to.
In early 2023, 40 businesses were awarded prospective cannabis consumption lounge licenses and as of September 2023, a few of these have moved closer to opening as they have been granted conditional licenses by the State of Nevada. The lounges we anticipate seeing open first include those brought to us by cannabis brands; Planet 13, Thrive, Greenlife Productions, INYO, Top Notch and Deep Roots Harvest amongst a handful of Independent Lounge operators including the famed Las Vegas attraction, Area 15.
Planet 13 Entertainment Complex, the massive dispensary and shopping center just minutes away from the Strip, has recently had Clark County grant approval of a special use permit allowing them to move forward with construction of their lounge. Given how Planet 13 is certainly at least partially responsible for introducing legal cannabis to millions of tourists and pushing the plant more into the mainstream of American industry, their anticipated consumption lounge will continue that mission when they open sometime in early 2024.
Located on Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, next to the famed Sapphire Lounge & El Dorado Cantina, Thrive Cannabis Marketplace hopes to have their own memorable 3,000 sq. ft. consumption lounge open and operational by MJBizCon’s 2023 Convention in late November. We got to speak to Chris LaPorte, Founder of RESET and hear all about the exciting plans Thrive has for their lounge opening later this year. Chris told the Nevada Independent that "this is going to be a much more elevated experience for a cannabis consumer.”
So while the legal public and social consumption options in Nevada are still a little limited right now, the language from Assembly Bill 341 and the strength of the Nevada cannabis industry will definitely provide many more consumption lounges and opportunities for social cannabis consumption.
Make sure to stay tuned to KWTS to stay updated on the best places in Las Vegas to consume.
Jurisdictions in Nevada Opted-OUT of cannabis consumption lounges: Boulder City • Carson City • City of Elko • City of Fernley • City of Henderson • City of Mesquite • City North Las Vegas • City of Sparks • City of Yerington • Douglas County • Eureka County • Lander County • Lincoln County • Lyon County • Mineral County • Pershing County • City of Winnemucca
Read more about the Consumption Lounge Regulations and License Holders on the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board website.