Las Vegas Cannabis Social-Use Lounges: When Our Third Place is Actually Your First
Updated: Oct 6
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg wax poetic over a drink at Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco. Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald rehearse in the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. Humphrey Bogart and Greta Garbo avoid the cameras to enjoy the cuisine of The Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood. What did they all have in common? Every one of these legendary figures smoked their joint at home or in the alleyway before entering these community havens, these timeless venues, the ever important Third Place.
Urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg argued for the importance of Third Place venues that “host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of only home and work.” Third places traditionally referred to churches, cafes, clubs, shopping centers, or parks. Today we add cannabis social-use lounges to these social environments. While Las Vegas is clearly a tourist destination, when a local venue captures the soul of the community, tourists tend to follow. At our first crack at the Third Place, writer Clay Shirky recounted his experience referencing another favorite urban sociologist and author:
Between sundown and last call, Insert Coins represents everything The Downtown Project hopes to get right. It attracts a crazy number of groups that, in a big city, would each have homophilous little boîtes, but there they all are: gay, lesbian, straight; black, brown, white; people with a junkyard of facial piercings alongside people whose only body modifications are fillings. There are pasty-faced geeks whaling on Street Fighter, ignoring and being ignored by party girls sporting Just Covers My Pudendum hemlines, and presided over, last I was there, by a skinny Asian DJ in comically large headphones, digging through her vinyl to spin some Biz Markie. It hosts more subcultures than the West Village ever did; if Jane Jacobs had been a lush, she would’ve drunk herself to death at Insert Coins.
With nearly 5,000 bars and restaurants in Las Vegas, to successfully compete required a draw that appealed to multiple communities. While our first venture revolved around the video game industry and booze, to focus today on your favorite social lubricant, cannabis, success requires a deep-seated understanding of the plant and a white-glove service experience to ensure both the enjoyment and education of a developing consumer market with a Las Vegas flair. Combined with our mission of hyper-localization, to grow the cannabis market with partners in non-endemic industries powered by the Las Vegas community is to develop a brand identity that powers the imagination of national audiences.
So what do these lounges look like? Envision The Stork Club’s cafe society meets cannabis in a way only Las Vegas is positioned to launch. Providing a space where locals and tourists alike can learn about the various forms of consuming cannabis in a setting comfortable and intimate is key. Where you can enjoy cannabis-infused meals from renowned Las Vegas chefs, an infused drink whether handcrafted or an ice-cold Cann, and partake in various forms of consumption through focused collaborations and partnerships, both in and out of the cannabis industry, all the while enjoying like-minded people, curated soundtracks, and live performances that garnered Sin City the moniker of The Entertainment Capital of the World.
With the application process for cannabis social use lounges beginning on October 14th, 2022, Nevada enjoys a retcon of the post-prohibition era one hundred years later with cannabis. The impact will begin a historic transformation of the cannabis industry and American culture in its entirety. While we harken back to the indulgences of the Roaring 20s and a nightlife scene pre-pandemic, the Las Vegas cannabis industry is best suited to be the focal point of all things cannabis hospitality as more jurisdictions look to develop their own social-use regulations. This new and exciting Third Place venture will allow patrons to not only enjoy cannabis but reflect collectively versus reflecting with their second screen as meaningful connections are developed and we share the importance of cannabis culture to new and old audiences alike.
Our goal, in partnership with Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, is to launch a new movement in nightlife and hospitality while curating an experience that lives and breathes authentic Las Vegas. Communities embraced and amplified by dearly departed DTLV venues like The Beat Coffeehouse and Beauty Bar, entertainment offerings that redefined the city from the original Copa Room at the Sands Hotel and Casino to Rain Nightclub at Palms Casino Resort, while building a long-lasting Las Vegas legacy akin to the good eats at Bootlegger’s Bistro and Golden Steer Steakhouse. Are we reaching for the sun and the moon? Perhaps. However, when this new cannabis hospitality venture attracts future social and literary pioneers, music and art innovators, political and philosophical provocateurs, creating memories and finding moments of inspiration in the confines of their new favorite Third Place, the cannabis social-use lounge, the Las Vegas hospitality industry will enjoy a time honored tradition of the city; reinvention, transformation, evolution, a timely RESET.