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What happens in Vegas will still stay in Vegas — but perhaps no longer behind closed doors, at least when it comes to pot.

Earlier this week, Nevada’s Legislative Counsel Bureau gave the green light for marijuana to be permitted in public places, as long as patrons are of legal age. Citing a lack of state law, the bureau said cities and counties could create their own ordinances governing marijuana consumption in businesses.

Pro-marijuana advocates hailed it as a logical next step for the state, which was the most recent to legalize recreational weed. Nevada started allowing adults 21 and older to buy it on July 1, but like the other four states where it’s legal, restricts its use to private residences.

That’s posed a particular challenge for Nevada, where the economy is highly dependent on visitors who stay in hotels and play in casinos.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, a dogged champion of marijuana legalization, sees the opinion from the state legal body as an opportunity to turn Sin City into “Amsterdam on steroids.”

“We’re inviting 40 million people to come here and buy marijuana, but then we turn around and say there’s no place to use it,” Segerblom said of the annual influx of tourists who go to Las Vegas.

“I think Vegas is perfect for this,” he added. “That’s what we do. We regulate vices.”

Related: Nevada Marijuana Dispensaries Are Already Running Low on Pot

The bureau issued its opinion in a letter on Sunday to Segerblom, who had requested clarification on Nevada law after a measure earlier this year that would have legalized so-called pot lounges died in the state legislature.

Segerblom said pot lounges could be standalone venues with dispensaries, similar to the coffee shops in Amsterdam that sell edibles.




Image: Russell Diercks smokes marijuana inside of Frankie Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia

A man uses a pipe to smoke marijuana.