California & Nevada Lawmakers Push Marijuana Social Consumption Lounge Bills Through
A California bill that will permit local jurisdictions to allow licensed cannabis lounges to sell non-marijuana foods and beverages cleared the state’s Assembly Thursday. The Nevada Assembly also approved a bill that will legalize marijuana consumption in lounges.
Both of these bills are going to the Senate in their respective states. But what do these new measures mean for the states?
California’s Assembly-approved legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D) on behalf of the City of West Hollywood. This bill would change the state’s policy on consumption lounges.
At this point, Cali’s recreational cannabis program permits social use sites. These spots cannot currently sell non-marijuana foods and beverages. Even though the West Hollywood-approved local ordinance approved in 2017 let these retailers open to serve marijuana and non-infused foods, these operations were operating in a grey area under emergency regulations.
The state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control implemented regulations to “expressly prohibit” these activities. But now, the City of West Hollywood is sponsoring the legislation that aims to create “a state licensure category that would allow businesses that have been permitted locally to operate with a state license for consumption lounges.”
“Rather than advocating for the BCC to reopen its regulations and allow for locally authorized consumption lounges to offer non-cannabis products, the City of West Hollywood is sponsoring this bill to accommodate what that jurisdiction and others are aiming to do through local ordinances,” the city says. “The bill would allow a local government to grant approval to operate consumption cafes/lounges where adults could consume cannabis and cannabis products, in addition to the existing authorization for consumption in licensed retail settings.”
Nevada’s measure from Assemblyman Steve Yeager (D) cleared the chamber in a 29-12 vote. Through this bill, the state will create two new licensing categories for cannabusinesses. One such category will include retail cannabis consumption lounges and the other is an independent cannabis consumption lounge category.
As more states legalize marijuana, social use sites will become a more popular subject. But we’ll need regulations in place to permit these operations that allow adults to freely enjoy cannabis.