Allowing food to be served inside marijuana/cannabis lounges in Nevada would normalize indoor smoking and expose workers to secondhand smoke.
On November 7, 2006, the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA) was enacted; as of December 8 2006, most indoor public places and places of employment became smokefree with the significant exception of casinos and bars. In 2016, Nevada voters approved adult-use recreational cannabis, along with a prohibition on cannabis smoking/vaping in all public places, including cannabis retail stores. This was consistent with the NCIAA and state constitution (which also prohibits the use of cannabis in public). In 2019, establishments with on-site cannabis consumption were further prohibited by the Legislature. Protections have since weakened: in 2021, the Legislature approved cannabis consumption lounges; smoking/vaping cannabis and food service are permitted on-site.
In June of 2022, ANR Foundation contacted Nevada State Attorney General Aaron Ford for clarifications on how the state would implement cannabis consumption lounge regulations while protecting the integrity of currently smokefree spaces under the state constitution and NCIAA, in particular (a) whether the intent of existing law is contravened as more cannabis businesses may add food service, and/or more food service businesses may consider prohibiting minors and relinquishing alcohol sales, instead becoming indoor cannabis smoking and vaping lounges, and (b) whether other types of businesses beyond those in food service will do the same. The above may lead to more workers exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke and renormalizing smoking in hospitality and other workplaces and public venues.
The Attorney General responded on July 19, 2022 stating that ANR/F’s “complaint was reviewed, and it has been determined your complaint references allegations beyond the jurisdiction of this office. Due to the nature of your complaint, you may consider contacting the Nevada State Legislature to request further clarification…”
Despite ANRF’s outreach to the Attorney General, the latest cannabis consumption lounge implementation regulations, enacted June 28, 2022 and effective July 14, permit food service at such lounges. In Nevada, we may soon witness the return of indoor smoking to restaurant-like settings.