A bill allowing local governments’ issuance of permits for marijuana social clubs has passed in the Nevada senate. The bill passed 12-9 Tuesday and will later be revised and reviewed by the assembly.
The main reason for the drafting of the bill was to improve the tourism industry in Las Vegas. Tourists do not have safe places to use recreational marijuana, which is not legal in the state of Nevada, Lawmakers said.
Tourists will soon be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana, but they will have no place to use it. The law that took place on January 1st made it so people can smoke marijuana at a private residence.
The lack of suitable lounges could cause tourists to bring in the drug into casino properties and “dump the responsibility onto the resort corridor,” said Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands Corp. senior vice president.
Pot lounges in Clark county would mostly be located on the Las Vegas Strip, Abboud said.
Lawmakers in favor of the new bill claim that the lounges are going to play a huge part in governor Brian Sandoval’s two-year budget which claims about 70 million dollars from a special marijuana sales tax.
“We’re trying to get $70 million in tax revenue from them, so let’s give them some place to use it,” State Senator and bill sponsor Tick Segerblom said.
State Senator Don Gustavson originally voted against the bill because he thought that whoever voted for the marijuana ballot in November did it thinking it would only allow people to consume marijuana in their homes.
Another burden for lawmakers is that President Donald trump’s administration will bring in federal drug enforcers into states that start marijuana social clubs.
Lawmakers in Colorado stopped a bill earlier this month because of the same concern. Denver voters however approved a measure in November which was similar to the bill.