Whether it’s for business or a bachelor party, the Vegas Strip alone presents an ostentatious spectacle unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Personally I luxuriate in the neon lights, the lavish resorts, and incomparable “anything can happen” energy that is palpable as you join the intoxicated masses for some truly world-class merrymaking. Because Sin City bears the reputation of Earth’s most debaucherous city, no one batted an eye when Nevada legalized recreational marijuana in 2016. However, tourists should take note of the city’s policies regarding the public use of marijuana and plan to exercise caution before sparking up that legal joint purchased minutes ago at one of Vegas’ accessible marijuana dispensaries.
Is Weed Legal in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Yes. Las Vegas, NV, has famously taken an open approach to regulating a wide range of vices, from legalizing gambling in 1931 all the way to becoming the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016. With the passage of Question 2, Nevadans and tourists over the age of 21 could purchase, possess, and consume marijuana legally in the state as of January 1, 2017. Just make sure you bring a valid government ID, driver’s license, or passport to successfully purchase legal weed in Las Vegas.
But previously patient-only medical marijuana dispensaries were not allowed to offer sales of recreational marijuana until July 1 of 2017, and dispensaries statewide were almost instantly overwhelmed by the high demand for recreational marijuana. The following year, Nevada licensed an additional 61 dispensaries for retail sales of recreational marijuana.
In Nevada, an individual who is 21 years of age or older may consume and possess on their person up to one ounce of dried cannabis or one eighth ounce of cannabis concentrate. Consumers must purchase that marijuana from a state-licensed retail marijuana dispensary.
Where to Smoke Weed in Vegas?
In Nevada, you can only legally consume cannabis or cannabis products on private property. If you’ve got friends or family who are cool with you hot-boxing their abode, you’re in luck and are bound to be legally lifted for the entirety of your stay in Las Vegas. However, the city does not boast any marijuana consumption lounges or any public spaces where administering weed products is permissible, even if for medical purposes.
This conflict understandably strikes confusion in the minds of the tens of millions of tourists who pour into Vegas every year to rage. With all these fabulous canna-products and nowhere to toke, what’s a party animal to do? In step with national trends, edibles and concentrates are increasingly popular in Vegas, as products like vape pens and gummies provide an avenue for discreet administration. You cannot legally smoke or consume weed products in Vegas, though if you’ve ever strolled up or down the Strip, I’m sure you found this just as difficult to believe as I did. Be mindful that you can technically be slapped with a fine of $600 for indulging in this way, though such citations are infrequently handed out.
Is Smoking Allowed in Vegas Casinos?
If you’ve ever found yourself inside one of the countless, sprawling casinos of Las Vegas, you know you’ll be hard-pressed to find a corner or nook that is out of eyeshot of security. You will also note cigarette smoke wafting around every slot machine and blackjack table, which is why no one can be knocked for thinking it might just be acceptable to blaze and gamble simultaneously. However, as weed is still federally illegal, marijuana consumption poses problems for the gaming industry.
Casinos that choose to look the other way on the issue of weed smoking run a significant risk of losing their gaming license and have trained their security to treat violators accordingly — you will be thrown out if caught, at the very least. If you’re feeling particularly brazen and choose to spark one up on the casino floor, I all but guarantee security will be on you in an instant.
Are There Pot Bars in Las Vegas?
No. However, Las Vegas has taken steps to provide options for tourists who want to smoke weed without looking over their shoulders. Last year, the Las Vegas City Council moved to permit the licensing of social-use cannabis spaces, such as pot bars or weed smoking rooms. Despite the open attitudes in Vegas toward allowing regulated pot consumption spaces, state representatives were not pleased with the idea nor were the resorts.
The many hulking resorts of Las Vegas largely view the prospect of dedicated cannabis consumption spaces as a threat to their bottom line, and the Nevada Resorts Association (NRA) made clamorous noises in response to the city council’s decision to regulate smoking spaces. The Nevada legislature soon passed Assembly Bill 533, overriding the Vegas measure and delaying the launch of any marijuana consumption venue until July 2021 at the earliest. Proponents of the bill argued that Nevada was rushing too quickly onto the weed scene and needed to take a slow and cautious approach to considering the regulation of cannabis consumption spaces.
Can You Smoke and Vape in Vegas Hotels?
The ban on public consumption of marijuana in Las Vegas also applies to hotels as well as casino floors. Hotels are definitely inclined to doll out hefty fines, sometimes as high as $2,000, to guests who smoke inside their hotel rooms. Though many would claim tobacco smoking is far more deserving of a fine than pot smoking in hotel rooms, the resorts can financially penalize you as they see fit. If you are set on smoking where you stay, your best bet is to search AirBnb for 420 friendly spaces, which are increasingly popular destinations for cannabis enthusiasts visiting Vegas.
The Verdict: Toke With Caution
Despite Nevada’s status as a legal medical and recreational marijuana state, the federal criminalization of cannabis proves to once again block cannabis enthusiasts from limitless indulgence. Though there is strong support for the addition of public weed consumption lounges in Nevada, similar to those in Colorado, they will not be allowed for at least another year.
Considering these factors, is Las Vegas still enjoyable for cannabis users? Absolutely! Once you enter the opulent realm of Las Vegas, you’ll discover a hundred ways to get over some of these stringent restrictions on public consumption of marijuana. With the way support for cannabis legalization is trending, I find it difficult to believe smoking weed in Vegas casinos will forever be prohibited. But, until the time of federal legalization, Las Vegas tourists will still need to keep their cannabis consumption on the downlow.