Article by Associated Press via civilized
A bill allowing local governments to issue permits for marijuana social clubs has passed in the Nevada Senate.
The bill passed 12-9 Tuesday and next will be reviewed by the Assembly, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. It was mainly drafted for the tourism industry in Las Vegas. Tourists do not have a safe place to use recreational marijuana, which is legal in Nevada, lawmakers said.
Tourists will soon be able to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, but will have no place to use it. The law that took effect January 1 makes it so people can only consume pot at a private residence.
Not having lounges would cause tourists to bring 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 be located on the Las Vegas Strip, Abboud said.
Lawmakers in favor of the bill say the lounges will play an important part in Governor Brian Sandoval’s two-year budget, which calls for about $70-million 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 Sen. and bill sponsor Tick Segerblom said.
State Sen. Don Gustavson voted against the bill because he thinks those who voted for the marijuana ballot measure in November did so thinking that people would only be able to consume marijuana in their homes, he said.