Nevada's Original Cannabis Resource // Since 2014
A DISCUSSION ON LOUNGE REGULATIONS WITH LAYKE MARTIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEVADA CANNABIS ASSOCIATION As I’ve covered extensively over most of the past year, cannabis consumption lounges will soon be a reality in both the city of Las Vegas as well as the greater Silver State. The millions of tourists that visit this desert oasis every year will finally have a place to both safely and legally consume a variety of cannabis products. It will be a much needed expansion into a booming state industry that already employs approximately 23,000 people and thousands more through ancillary employment. Social equity and other much needed diversity measures were added to the consumption lounge-legalizing Assembly Bill 341. This legislation, partly thanks to the tireless activism from organizations directly from communities impacted by the drug war, will hopefully lead to the inclusion of individuals from those exact communities. Those excluded from the legal industry for a variety of reasons will finally have a mostly equal opportunity in an industry they’ve been prohibited from in droves. It’ll be a riveting new chapter for the Nevada cannabis industry and an exciting new branch of Las Vegas’ endlessly expanding tree of tourists’ experience opportunities. Whereas the millions of visiting cannabis consumers without a private place to consume had to risk a hotel smoking fine or a public consumption ticket, that crowd now won’t have to risk facing any penalties and can instead support local businesses. I’ve spent the last year covering how beneficial and opportunistic that social equity’s inclusion into the consumption lounge program could become. It’s important to also discuss the economic and employment possibilities that come with AB 341’s legislation along with how stable a consumption lounge market could be in a state with as large of a cannabis industry as Nevada does.
A lifelong native of Nevada, Nevada Cannabis Association (formerly Nevada Dispensary Association) Executive Director and UNLV law professor Layke Martin is well-versed in both the Nevadan business market and business law as a whole. As Executive Director of an organization with members from the most well-known dispensaries and cultivators as well as ancillary cannabis companies in Nevada, Martin wears many hats and fulfills many duties on behalf of the NCA. They provide services to the statewide industry of arguably the fastest growing industry in the country. “As the NCA’s Executive Director, I coordinate the association’s policy agenda,” described Martin, “conduct outreach with policymakers, media, and community organizations, create educational resources for the industry, and provide member services such as regular policy updates and analysis.” In the ever-changing world of Nevada cannabis laws and regulations, it’s beneficial to the NCA to have a lawyer as esteemed as Martin as Executive Director. Before taking the role she has with the organization, Martin served as Assistant Dean for External Relations at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law and teaches at UNLV’s School of Public Policy and Leadership. The Nevada State Bar awarded her Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 2015 and served on the Board of the National Association for Law Placement from 2015-2017 as well as the 2015-2016 Chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Nevada. “The NCA concentrates its efforts on cannabis industry advocacy, government affairs, public relations, and developing training resources to promote compliance and safety.” Martin said. Given her extensive experience in law and policy, Martin was an obvious choice to fill
a seat on a committee when the Cannabis Compliance Board formed the various committees that would discuss ideal regulations for the eventual consumption lounges. In particular, Martin would serve on the Market Stability Committee. As opposed to the very social reformheavy operations of the Social Equity and Diversity Committee, the Market Stability Committee focuses on the economic and logistical possibilities of the consumption lounges. In a state with legal cannabis for almost half a decade now and a tourism industry that is unmatched throughout the world, the Market Stability Committee was formed to realistically envision and discuss how a cannabis consumption lounge program would operate in such a state. Interestingly, Martin explained that unlike the other committees that have held public meetings, the Market Stability Committee hasn’t yet held public meetings and will likely take more of a consultory role in the discussion and creation of consumption lounge regulations. “I anticipate that we will meet in the future to make recommendations based on a study that the CCB plans to conduct assessing supply and demand in the Nevada market before opening up any new non-lounge licensing rounds.” Martin said. Even if the committee hasn’t technically met, Martin joins many equally qualified professionals in the subjects of cannabis, the Nevada economy and business planning. Such examples include Planning Manager for Clark County Department of Comprehensive Planning Sami Real and General Manager of Wallflower Cannabis House James Hammer. Unlike their scandal-ridden regulatory predecessors notorious for secrecy and exclusion of anyone not from the