At least two applicants have been awarded licenses to operate cannabis lounges in Nye County, according to a report issued Wednesday from the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board.
KV Group LLV and GGCPA SE Inc. both plan to launch local lounges, where adults will be allowed to smoke, vape and consume cannabis products onsite.
Specifics, including where the two cannabis lounges might operate in Nye County weren’t immediately available. A request to view the lounge applications approved by the Cannabis Compliance Board this week is pending.
However, a spokesperson for the board confirmed that one Nye County applicant will receive one of the state’s designated social-equity licenses to operate.
“The intention was to create a license that would hopefully benefit people and communities historically negatively impacted by previous drug policy,” Tiana Bohner, a spokesperson for the Nevada CBC told the Pahrump Valley Times on Thursday.
Those convicted of non-violent felony or misdemeanor cannabis offenses and who met other requirements established by the state’s cannabis board were able to apply for a social-equity license to operate a lounge and pay just $2,500 instead of the typical $10,000 fee.
While cannabis regulations vary from state to state where the drug has been legalized in the past years, growing gender, racial and social gaps exist between stakeholders in the industry.
According to a 2021 report from Marijuana Business Daily, the percentage of executive positions held by women and minorities in cannabis fell to 30 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Programs focused on social equity have responded to help marginalized communities participate in the legal cannabis industry, which is projected to top $100 billion in revenue by 2030.
Nye County currently operates two legal cannabis dispensaries, both in Pahrump. A third dispensary is located in Tonopah, just across the Esmeralda county line.
While cannabis retailers have legally been able to sell marijuana in Nevada since July 2017, regulations have largely banned the use of it in public places, both indoors and outdoors. Until now, tourists who stayed in Nevada’s hotels and purchased pre-rolled joints at dispensaries, for example, have had few places to smoke them because the only “safe havens” were privately owned homes and properties.
This is a developing story.
Contact Editor Brent Schanding at firstname.lastname@example.org