A Sports Bar for Cannabis?

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

The Nevada Independent this week profiled a growing new lure in Las Vegas, cannabis lounges.


Howard Stutz of The Independent notes that cannabis consumption lounges were legalized through AB341 in 2021, five years after voters authorized the recreational use of marijuana in 2016. While dispensaries flourished — there are more than 100 retail cannabis stores throughout the state, according to the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) — the lounges needed extra time to ensure they met state regulations.

"A person who is 21 years of age or older is allowed to possess and consume retail marijuana. A marijuana consumer may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 1/8 of an ounce of concentrated marijuana. Marijuana can only be purchased legally from state-licensed retail marijuana stores," the law states.

Dazed! and Smoke and Mirrors are the first two CCB-regulated lounges to open.

Smoke and Mirrors is part of a large dispensary — one of seven in Nevada operated by Thrive.  They are taking the cannabis lounge to another level.

During the recent NCAA basketball tournaments, LaPorte said Smoke and Mirrors resembled a sports bar, except with fans indulging in cannabis while watching the games, Stutz writes.

“I would love to look at the geolocation for mobile sports betting during that time and see how many bets were made from here,” LaPorte said. “Guys were pulling out their phones and making bets.”

It's not just Nevada.  Currently, cannabis consumption lounges are legal in 12 states.  These include Alaska, California, Colorado, DC, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York.

There are some important rules before entering one of these lounges.  You cannot bring your own cannabis products to any of the lounges and avoid being hungry prior to entering.  Cannabis lounges are not permitted to sell non-cannabis food items, though some will offer cups of popcorn that is not laced.

Also don't try without understanding the concentration listed on the packaging.  A qualified budtender can assist you.  So-called "dab bars" feature infused beverages and/or chocolates that are not for beginners due to the concentration and potency.

Barbary Coast in San Francisco is another establishment that combines cannabis and the sports bar experience. Brian Applegarth  of SFTravel.com writes of Barbary Coast:

A nod to nostalgic San Francisco, Barbary Coast is one of the best lounge experiences in the city. Locals and visitors love this bar-like atmosphere where patrons mix and mingle amid energetic background music. Ideal for groups, choose from one of the many plush, high-back red booths or intimate tables. Pick from a wide selection of cannabis beverages or belly up to the dab bar for tasty terpene-filled delight. Visitors are invited to grab a puzzle or board game or relax and enjoy watching the ballgame on TV.

Getting back to Vegas, Planet 13 is the closest of these cannabis lounges you will get to any type of gambling, and it sits about a mile off the Strip. Federal law makes it impossible for casino operators to add lounges.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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