NV LEGISLATURE PASSES AB 341, LEGALIZING CANNABIS CONSUMPTION LOUNGES
— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —
June 3, 2021
Las Vegas, NV — Nevada’s Cannabis Consumption Lounge legislation, AB 341 passed the Nevada Legislature with broad bipartisan support on Memorial Day, just hours before Sine Die, which marks the end of the session. Championed by Assemblyman Steve Yeager (AD9), the bill aims to solve Nevada’s long-standing problem of illegal public cannabis consumption. AB 341 is also a win for industry professionals and local advocates frustrated with the outcome of the 80th Legislative Session, like the members of Nevada’s Chamber of Cannabis.
Founded with the mission of strengthening cannabis commerce, improving justice, and positively impacting the community, the 501(c)(6) nonprofit has worked closely with Yeager and within the community as the lead advocates for the bill. AB 341 is a common-sense, well-written policy that took hundreds of hours of work and required support from a broad coalition of stakeholders to pass. There was no major recorded opposition to the bill.
“This bill was a true testament to how passionate and collaborative people can spark the change needed to start steering the cannabis industry to a more inclusive space,” said Tina Ulman, President, Chamber of Cannabis. “Although the bill does not include all our original components, it is a compromise for all parties, which is what good policy should be. Without strong advocates voicing their concerns and solutions, we would be in jeopardy of another unfair and nontransparent licensing process. The people passionate about the plant and who are shaping the industry are not willing to let that happen.”
Should AB 341 be signed by Governor Sisolak, it will be the first and only bill in the state to pass that allows for safe and well-regulated cannabis venues intended for social use. Previous efforts in 2019 stalled at the very end of the last legislative session with the passage of a two-year moratorium on cannabis lounges. Now with the industry’s regulatory body, the Cannabis Compliance Board, in place, the state is ready to support and regulate the development of new licenses.
“The 2021 legislative session was unlike any we’ve seen before,” said Scot Rutledge, lobbyist for the Chamber of Cannabis and a partner with Argentum Partners. “The dynamics of a remote session throughout most of the process provide both challenges and opportunities in crafting legislation for both legislators and the advocacy community. Without the leadership of Assemblyman Yeager, this bill would not have been possible,” he said. “Additionally, what we originally thought would be one of the more contentious and controversial pieces of legislation this year turned out to be one of the most supported and inclusive bills I’ve worked on.”
AB 341 creates two new license types for cannabis consumption lounges — independent lounges and those that are attached or adjacent to a retail cannabis store. Because regulation of these new license types is a top priority for regulators and law enforcement, the first lounges will be awarded to existing retailers that apply for them.
A lottery will be used to award lounge licenses to qualified independent applicants. Independent lounges will be able to sell single-use servings of cannabis in conjunction with their choice of service or entertainment model. With one exception of course: alcohol sales will not be permitted at any cannabis consumption establishment.
Unlike previously passed cannabis legislation, AB 341 also seeks to address social equity and diversity concerns noted in the CCB’s 2020 demographic report. Of the approximately 40 licenses created by the law, 25 percent are allotted to social equity applicants who will also qualify for lower application and licensing fees.
This measure, which was workshopped with local and national industry advocates, including Minorities for Medical Marijuana, is aimed at giving opportunity back to communities negatively impacted by the failed drug policies of the past. Additionally, all license types are limited to just one lounge per license group which will help diversify ownership of cannabis establishment licenses, a priority of the CCB and the Chamber of Cannabis.
While AB 341 legalizes cannabis lounges, local jurisdictions will need to draft ordinances and the Cannabis Compliance Board will need to promulgate regulations, so it’s likely that the first lounges won’t open their doors until 2022. That shouldn’t stop aspiring licensees from starting their planning now though.
The Chamber provides opportunities to connect, share resources, and collaborate with like-minded leaders in the cannabis industry — both online and off. Grounded in a culture dedicated to community over individuals, humility before pride, teamwork, and positivity, the Chamber is here to help shine a light on the incredible potential of the Las Vegas cannabis industry. To attend a monthly meeting or learn more about becoming a member, visit thechamberofcannabis.org, or reach out to their team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tina Ulman, President
Phone: (702) 493-1856
Address: 9050 W Tropicana Ave Unit 1089
Las Vegas, NV 89147-8198
https://scholars.law.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=nljforum – The Elephant in Nevada’s Hotel Rooms: Social Consumption of Recreational Marijuana, A Survey of Law, Issues
https://ccb.nv.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL-012921-CCB-Demographic-Study.pdf CCB Demographic Study
https://ccb.nv.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CCB-Cannabis-Consumption-Lounge-Study-FINAL.pdf CCB Consumption Lounge Study
THE CHAMBER OF CANNABIS ANNOUNCES ITS SOCIAL USE CAMPAIGN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 28, 2021
LAS VEGAS, NV — The 81st Session of the Nevada Legislature convenes on February 1, 2021, and The Chamber of Cannabis will be leading advocacy efforts to legalize social use venues in Nevada through legislation sponsored by Assembly Judiciary Chairman Steve Yeager. The organization has partnered with Minorities for Medical Marijuana and has retained Scot Rutledge with Argentum Partners as its lobbying firm for its 2021 Social Use Campaign. Their partners in this effort understand the importance of passing legislation this year and we need your help.
Founded in the fall of 2020, the Chamber’s mission is to expand opportunities for commerce, diversity, and competition in the Nevada cannabis industry. The organization’s members see social use venue licenses as a way to expand opportunities in the cannabis industry to more local businesses, including social equity applicants while creating jobs and increasing state revenue.
“With the opportunity for social use venue legislation in the state at stake, the Chamber is working hard to grow its coalition and is seeking partners for its 2021 Social Use Campaign”, said Tina Ulman, President of the Chamber. “We are proud of the diversity of our partners and members and we hope that more businesses will choose to join our efforts to create a more robust, equitable, and diverse industry.”
This is not the first time social use policy has been considered in the Silver State. In 2019 the City of Las Vegas passed an ordinance allowing for social use venues, but the Nevada Legislature put a moratorium in place until the issue could be studied by the Cannabis Compliance Board. The CCB’s report is due to the Legislature this month.
Additionally, Cannabis was deemed an essential industry in the early stages of the COVID pandemic. Despite this designation, and the almost $600 MIL of legal cannabis sold in 2020, it remains illegal to consume cannabis outside of your home, excluding most renters, and the tens of millions of annual visitors to Nevada, from legally having a place to consume.
“As a legacy cannabis business in Nevada with a commitment to quality products for our customers and giving back to our community, we see the opportunity to own a social use venue as a way to expand our brand’s presence and provide more education for consumers. We also support the policy of social equity and want to see more opportunities for women and persons of color in the cannabis industry. We are proud to partner with the Chamber to see a smart, sensible policy passed this session.” Lisa Lawatsch, General Manager, Oasis Dispensary and Strategic Partner to The Chamber.
“Currently we sell cannabis, but have made it illegal to consume it, which puts all consumers at risk of being penalized,” said Vice President Dani Baranowski. “After four years of legalization, the Chamber sees an opportunity to create a sense of urgency for legislators and regulators to revisit this matter and improve it,” she said.
The Chamber of Cannabis is a non-profit organization designed to unite cannabis industry professionals who strive to build a more inclusive industry. The Chamber provides opportunities to connect, share resources, and collaborate with like-minded members—both online and off. To attend a monthly meeting or learn more about becoming a member or partner for their Social Use Campaign, visit thechamberofcannbis.org or reach out to their team at email@example.com.
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Dani Baranowksi, Vice President
Phone: (340) 201-3467
Address: 9050 W Tropicana Ave Unit 1089
Las Vegas, NV 89147-8198