Las Vegas gives thumbs-up to marijuana consumption lounges

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Marijuana consumption lounges were approved in Las Vegas and Clark County, a boon for the industry and the area’s crucial tourism sector.

The City Council voted 5-1 on Wednesday to deny a motion by member Victoria Seaman to prohibit such businesses, clearing the way for regulation, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The approval comes about two months after Nevada regulators finalized rules to open up the state’s cannabis market to an estimated 60-65 marijuana consumption lounges.

The city had “automatically opted in to the (consumption lounge) licensing process,” the Review-Journal reported, because it hadn’t responded to a September memo from the state Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB).

But Wednesday’s vote gave Las Vegas a chance to reject marijuana consumption lounges.

The lounges, which can’t sell alcohol, must be located in unincorporated areas of the city and Clark County.

Clark County extends from the California border to the Arizona border in the southern part of the state as well as north of Las Vegas.

The first consumption lounges are expected to open before the end of the year, according to the CCB.