LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas became one step closer to cannabis lounges opening. The Cannabis Compliance Board officially voted on the rules and regulations for those lounges.

After a year of workshops, the board voted on approving the regulations for cannabis lounges and the application process. Some businesses, such as the Nevada Wellness Center, have been eager to get the lounges open.

“It is legal, but there is not a legal place to smoke it,” said Nevada Wellness Center owner, Frank Hawkins. “We have a dispensary on the bottom and a consumption lounge on the top.”

On Tuesday, he learned more about the rules and regulations that are now in place for future lounges, something he has been setting up for in the upstairs of the building.

“Next would be opening up the consumption lounge.”

After more than a dozen public workshops the board voted on finalizing the cannabis lounge regulations and rules for the application process. Over the next few months, they expect to have informational workshops before the application process opens.

“We will send a 30 day notice out that will initiate a 30 day notice for an application period. Once that expires, we will do a 10 day application period,” said Tyler Klimas, the executive director of the Cannabis Compliance Board.

They have expected 40 to 45 applications for lounges attached to retail shops and 20 independent shops, 10 of which will go to social equity applicants.

“What we are looking for is the impacts of drug policy on individuals and members of the community. We are looking at poverty level, we are looking at any past convictions of cannabis,” Klimas explained.

Some of the regulations included safety protocols at lounges, training requirements for staff, and location requirements for the lounges. Those included certain distances from locations such as schools and community facilities.

Hawkins has become one step closer to getting a lounge open.

“The consumption lounges are going to go a long way to make a difference.”

When could we see the first lounge open? With the application process most likely to start in a few months, Klimas says we could see the first ones opening by the end of the year.