Marijuana consumption is legal in Las Vegas. Now, a cannabis hotel could be in the works.
Clark County property records show that The Artisan Hotel at 1501 W. Sahara Avenue has been sold for $11.9 million. The buyer of the 64-room boutique is Alex Rizk and his Phoenix-based Pro Hospitality Group.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Rizk is already invested in a cannabis-friendly hotel in the Arizona city where his firm is based. He plans to bring the cannabis hotel theme to Las Vegas.
Rizk says his acquisition of the hotel, which is located just off I-15 at the Sahara Avenue interchange, was completed with the intention of opening Las Vegas’ first cannabis-oriented hotel.
Many regulatory hurdles stand in his way. Last year, Nevada lawmakers and Governor Steve Sisolak (D) legalized recreational cannabis consumption lounges. But the details of those designated environments — which will require licensure — remain in the works.
Gaming and Ganja Can’t Mix
Cannabis — or informally, marijuana, pot, weed, etc. — remains classified on the federal level as an illegal Schedule 1 narcotic. That’s the same classification as heroin, LSD, and meth.
Because of cannabis’ federal classification, Nevada casinos must avoid any direct or indirect involvement with the cannabis industry. The Nevada Gaming Commission has repeatedly warned its licensees that marijuana must not be allowed anywhere on their premises.
Of course, anyone who lives in Las Vegas or has recently visited the Strip is well aware that weed is widespread and its smell often permeates public spaces. But under Nevada’s medicinal and recreational cannabis laws, users are to only consume the product inside a private residence. It’s illegal to consume cannabis inside Nevada hotel guestrooms, regardless of whether the occupancy is at a casino resort.
Things are much different in Arizona, which also has medical and recreational marijuana. Rizk’s cannabis-friendly hotel in Phoenix — The Clarendon Hotel and Spa — offers both cannabis and non-cannabis guestrooms.
The Clarendon also offers an on-site cannabis lounge where guests and the general public can mingle and consume marijuana. The hotel shuttle offers guests rides to nearby marijuana dispensaries.
The Artisan is near several cannabis dispensaries, including Planet 13, one of the more well-known marijuana outlets in Las Vegas. The Artisan was built in 1979 and rebranded to its current name in 2006 after The Siegel Group purchased the property.
Along with its 64 guestrooms, The Artisan features a top-optional outdoor pool, fitness room, bar and restaurant, and small 600-square-foot meeting space.
Hashing Out a Plan
Nevada’s 2021 cannabis consumption law resulted in the formation of the Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB). The state agency is tasked with licensing and regulating cannabis consumption lounges.
The CCB is currently drafting the regulations that will govern such marijuana businesses. The board is additionally finalizing how applications will be reviewed and approved.
The CCB expects to issue its first cannabis consumption lounge licenses before the end of the year.
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