74°F
weather icon Mostly Clear

Nevada to begin marijuana lounge application process in October

Nevada is set to open the application window for licensing of marijuana consumption lounges across the state.

The process will open for 10 business days between Oct. 14-27, the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board announced Wednesday.

“That is the only time” they’ll be able to apply, Michael Miles, deputy director of the board said during a training seminar early this month.

The state expects to issue up to 45 licenses to owners of marijuana dispensaries with social lounges, reminiscent to bars, attached or adjacent to them.

That’s in addition to the 20 licenses the state will issue to standalone lounges, half of which would go to “social equity applicants,” who were negatively affected by marijuana laws before the state legalized the drug in 2017.

It’s expected that every current dispensary that meets requirements for a lounge will get a state license. Since the independent licenses are limited, applicants will be placed on a random-number generator that will essentially function like a lottery.

“This will be the first open application period for cannabis licenses since 2018, providing an opportunity for new business models and more diverse ownership in Nevada’s cannabis industry,” Tiana Bohner, compliance board spokeswoman, wrote in a statement. “For the first time, licenses will be awarded to social equity applicants, furthering the state’s commitment to ensuring a more inclusive and equitable marketplace.”

After the application window closes, Nevada will be one step closer to allowing legal, public pot consumption since state lawmakers legalized the lounges during the 2021 legislative session. Although marijuana is legal, public use of the drug hasn’t been allowed until lounges were authorized by state lawmakers.

The next step will be licensing at the local level. Municipalities can strengthen, but not weaken, state policies.

In October 2021, the Nye County Commission voted to allow cannabis lounges here, with commissioner Donna Cox the only dissenting vote. Pahrump has two legal cannabis dispensaries and another dispensary opened this summer in Esmeralda County near Tonopah. It means the area could possibly see as many as three cannabis lounges, depending on the pending regulations.

“We’ll have to see what the CCB is going to allow us to have to begin with,” Commissioner Leo Blundo explained last October at a commission meeting. “The way I understood it was, you would be eligible for one of these licenses per dispensary. We’re looking at two, and we’ve already made a request for a third one in an area outside of Pahrump.”

Nonrefundable application fees in Nevada were set at $100,000 for dispensaries; $10,000 for independent applicants, and $2,500 for social equity applicants.

This is the only licensing round in the state’s plans, and issuing additional licenses would be dependent on changes to state law, said the compliance board, which has hosted Q&A and training sessions with prospective applicants. Another webinar is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Robin Hebrock contributed to the reporting on this story.

THE LATEST
Tonopah to be home to experimental hypersonic testing facility

Ambitious. It’s an apt word to describe Michael Grace’s vision for the future of his company, Longshot Space Technology Corporation, which, if all goes to plan, will build what he calls the world’s largest potato gun.

Pahrump man arrested for elder abuse

A Pahrump man wanted by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of elder abuse was arrested while attempting to purchase multiple vehicles at a Las Vegas car dealership, according to authorities.

Nye sheriff explains why you shouldn’t flee from the law

A man suspected of driving a stolen vehicle out of Las Vegas led Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a high-speed pursuit into Pahrump on Monday morning, April 15.

Amargosa veterans honored with their own Quilts of Valor ceremony

The Nye County Valor Quilters are on a mission — to cover local veterans in the comfort of healing Quilts of Valor to honor the service and sacrifices they’ve made in the name of freedom – and now, these talented artists have started to expand their reach outside of the Pahrump Valley.

Vehicle in garage destroyed by fire

No serious injuries were reported after fire gutted a vehicle inside the garage of a home along the 2400 block of Zuni Avenue on Wednesday, April 10.

Need a good laugh? Join in a night of hilarious scholarship fundraising

Promising a “laugh-your-ass-off” night of hilarity and musical diversion, Sanders Family Winery is all set to host the Kiwanis Club of the Pahrump Valley Scholarship Fundraiser and its sure to be an amusing time for all involved.

$6.2M allocated to 10 projects

Nye County has earmarked about $6.2 million of its $12 million in Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund (LATCF) grant dollars for a total of 10 projects throughout the county.

GALLERY: Winners of the Pins & Needles Quilt Show

The Bob Ruud Community Center was transformed into a world of color and design during the 19th Annual Pins and Needles Quilt Show, a yearly event that offers a stage to fabric artists of all kinds while giving the community to chance to admire their array of masterpieces.

Nye County loans itself $5.78 million to shore up reserves

In an effort to shore up the financial reserves used to cover cash flow issues in the county general fund, Nye County is loaning itself $5.78 million.