Cannabis entertainment hubs could be new trend

Developers, designers, architects and business owners in Las Vegas never cease to turn things up a notch to add a little entertainment, or a lot, to anything. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, especially for the owners of commercial real estate who are always seeking additional ways to draw a crowd.

I’ve noticed something lately that could be a big draw, though it might not be for every mall around the valley. I’m going to identify it as “cannabis as entertainment.”

The Neonopolis in downtown Las Vegas was the first place I identified as taking on this new trend.

A new cannabis-themed museum named the Cannabition Cannabis Museum will feature things such as a more than 20-foot bong that was appropriately named ‘Bongzilla.’ The owners also hosted a scavenger hunt in July that included several downtown businesses participating. The museum officially opens in early August.

Closer to the Las Vegas Strip is another center starting to brew: Planet 13.

Phase I of the project is set to bring 40,000 square feet of space with 16,500 square feet of retail space dedicated to cannabis. I think the size alone is a draw. And owners of the facility have dubbed the center one of the largest marijuana dispensaries in the world.

It’s been reported that the center will be 112,000 square feet when it’s all said and done. The space is set to contain a brewery, a coffee shop and a food hall.

This takes me to another thought: marijuana lounges. This wouldn’t be the first time millions were spent in the industry to anticipate what comes next in Nevada. And there were some winners and losers from that.

An interesting thing about Las Vegas is that entertainment centers of this nature, which might have somewhat of a stigma in some parts of the country, seem to work here. I do believe that establishments of this nature will bring in many individuals who live the cannabis culture and draw in plenty of those from the Strip who are not.

But either way, I think it’s been proven since recreational sales opened in the summer of 2017 that there’s plenty of revenue to be made — even more than the state expected. The latest figure is more than $340 million in revenue, just on the recreational side, in the last 10 months.

One last thing before I run: I can assure you, based on being a resident, off and on, for more than 20 years, we can likely expect something bigger and better, and it’s probably just around the corner.

Jeffrey Meehan contributes to the Las Vegas Business Press and RJRealEstate’s monthly Commercial Real Estate Report. He currently writes full time for the Pahrump Valley Times.