First Cannabis-Friendly Hotel in Las Vegas to Open This Week, Legality Still A Question
Sin City is about to see a new vice added to its lineup this week, with the first “cannabis inclusive” hotel set to open doors on Friday, June 2. The Lexi, a new 64-room hotel just off the Las Vegas strip, will allow and encourage on-site consumption of marijuana in 22 of its rooms.
Cannabis is legal for purchase in Nevada at licensed dispensaries. Consumption is legal in private residences, which is what The Lexi claims its designated pot-smoking rooms are.
However, local news outlets have spoken to Nevada attorneys who still question the legality of the operation. That includes concerns about a casino property, The Palace Station, just across the road. Under Nevada law, cannabis consumption lounges aren’t allowed within 1,500 feet of a gaming venue.
“The Lexi operates in accordance with all local and state laws… Only guests staying in designated fourth-floor guest rooms can consume cannabis, and can do so only in the privacy of their room,” said a Lexi spokesperson in a statement.
The Lexi was developed by Arizona-based Elevations Hotels and Resorts, who create commercial ventures with “cannabis-inclusive atmospheres.” Elevations bought the former Artisan Hotel on Western Sahara Avenue for $11.9 million in 2022. It spent a further $3 million redeveloping the property, which is set to open on Friday.
“Las Vegas is a city unlike any other, and we’re thrilled to be part of it,” said Elevations CEO Alex Rizk. “With the Lexi, instead of merely refreshing the hotel, we took a bold step to introduce an entirely new brand with innovative features.”
Guests will need to be 21 years of age or older to book a room at the Lexi, with ID required upon entry. Elevations has upgraded the deck area with a new pool, added several suites and one penthouse, and installed “state-of-the-art RestorAir filtration systems” in each cannabis-friendly room.
Public or Private
Despite all those measures, the legality of The Lexi’s pot-smoking rooms may hinge on interpretations of the law.
“I think it comes down to, is a hotel room a public place or a private place? Because by Nevada law, you can only consume in a private place. Unless the one exception being is if that place has a consumption lounge license,” local Nevada attorney Amanda Connor, of Connor and Connor PLLC, told 8NewsNow.
In this case, The Lexi does not have a cannabis consumption lounge license, as confirmed by the Las Vegas Cannabis Compliance Board, or CCB.
“The CCB been contacted by the Lexi, and so we cannot comment on the legality of their specific business plans without additional information,” a spokesperson said.
There is currently only one public place with such a license – the Vegas Tasting Room at NuWu Cannabis Marketplace, located on tribal land north of the strip in Fremont.
If The Lexi did apply to start a legal consumption lounge, it would probably run afoul of the same restrictions that have stopped other venues from opening up in Sin City.
Legal cannabis consumption rooms are not allowed within 1,500 feet of any casino or gaming licensed property, which rules out a lot of the prime real estate anywhere near the Strip.
Despite recreational cannabis being legal since 2017, and some 40 prospective licenses being approved, local government in Clark County has only allowed one venue for consumption to open.