West Wendover eyes Nevada bill to create ‘cannabis lounges’

WEST WENDOVER, Nev. — A new bill introduced in the Nevada State Legislature would allow the creation of lounges for people to consume recreational marijuana.

It’s a bill that West Wendover city officials are closely watching as the Utah-Nevada border community moves forward with recreational marijuana sales.

AB409, sponsored by Assemblyman William McCurdy II, D-Las Vegas, would create licenses for cannabis lounges, where marijuana purchased in the state could be legally consumed. Right now, marijuana cannot be consumed in public or in casinos.

For West Wendover, it’s been an issue. The community of about 5,000 swells on weekends to approximately 20,000, mostly Utahns who make a run for the border to gamble, take in a concert or buy cheaper liquor (which technically is illegal to bring back across the border).

Earlier this year, West Wendover’s city council voted to approve recreational marijuana sales which are expected to begin this summer. A cannabis lounge could help to avoid the thorny issue of Utahns bringing marijuana across the border (a crime) or consuming in casinos (also not allowed).

“I think that lounges will be something that we are going to take a serious look at and consider, especially knowing that the majority of the customers to a dispensary will be from out of state and then if they are staying in a casino hotel there is no place for them to legally consume. To not have a place for legal consumption would be irresponsible,” Mayor Daniel Corona told FOX 13. “There things like transportation to and from lounges, ventilation requirements and zoning parameters that I need to be worked through, hopefully if left out of the bill the state will give authority to local governments to make those decisions.”

Assemblyman McCurdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The bill was recently introduced with no hearings scheduled yet in the legislature.

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