Nevada Marijuana Laws
Created byВ FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated July 15, 2020
Home to Las Vegas, Nevada is known for having a more relaxed attitude when it comes to recreational activities. While it’s famously known as the only state to have legalized prostitution, Nevada has also joined the ranks of states beginning to decriminalize certain drug laws, starting with its approval of marijuana for medical use and then its legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
Nevada Medical Marijuana Laws
Although voters in Nevada approved legalization of medical marijuana in 2000, Nevada’s medical marijuana laws didn’t actually go into effect until 2014. Since then, it’s now legal in Nevada to sell, grow, test and tax medical marijuana. These laws marked the legalization of a new industry, one designed to ease pain for many afflictions. But which afflictions qualify? Under the law, patients can seek treatment with medical marijuana for a вЂњchronic or debilitating medical condition,вЂќ which can include:
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
- One that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, severe nausea, or severe pain; and
- Any other condition classified as chronic or debilitating
Nevada Recreational Marijuana Laws
In November 2016, Nevada residents also voted to legalize recreational marijuana. The new laws took effect on January 1, 2017. They allow adults (21 years or older) to purchase, cultivate, possess, or consume up to one ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants at a time.
In addition, a law passed in 2019 (taking effect on Jan. 1, 2020) prohibits employers from rejecting an applicant solely because they tested positive for cannabis in a pre-employment drug screening. The law exempts certain professions that involve public safety, such as firefighters and medical emergency personnel.
Nevada Marijuana Laws: An Overview
While marijuana use, regardless of the purpose, is still prohibited under federal law, the legalization of marijuana first for medical use and now for recreational use has created an opening in the law for residents of Nevada. Learn more about Nevada’s specific marijuana laws by referring to the chart below.
Nevada Revised Statute Section 453A.010 et seq. (medical use of marijuana)
*Check back for statutory changes reflecting the new ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use, including regulations for business licenses that will phase in over time.
Authorized patients can have no more than 2.5 ounces of usable medical marijuana every 14 days.
Authorized patients can have no more than 12 marijuana plants for medical purposes.
The number of state-issued certificates for medical marijuana dispensaries per county is limited by population follows:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Massachusetts Marijuana Laws: Related Resources
Facing Marijuana Charges? A Nevada Attorney Can Help
With the changes in Nevada law and the continuing tension between state and federal marijuana laws, it’s important now more than ever to have access to reliable information. An expert criminal defense attorney can not only advise you of the current state of the law in your area, but also advocate on your behalf if you’re facing charges down the road.
Chart providing details of Nevada Marijuana Laws
Nevada Marijuana Laws
As of November 8th, 2016, both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Nevada. Recreational consumers who are 21 years of age and older are now able to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis (or up to 1/8 ounce of concentrate) at a time.
Who can purchase marijuana in Nevada?
Thanks to the passing of Question 2, recreational marijuana is officially legal for people who are 21 years of age and older.
Anyone 18 years and older with a valid medical marijuana card can purchase cannabis legally in Nevada, even if the card has been issued from another state. Minors can also qualify for a medical card as long as a parent or guardian signs the Minor Release Form and agrees to act as the child’s primary caregiver.
Recreational consumers are allowed to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower or up to 1/8 of an ounce of concentrate at one time from recreational dispensaries. Note a 15% excise tax will be added to every purchase.
Those with a valid medical marijuana card who are at least 18 years old and older (or their caregivers) can purchase up to 2.5 ounces worth of useable marijuana within a two-week period (14 days). This includes flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals — basically, anything containing cannabis that could get a person high.
Calculations for this limit are based on the total weight of cannabinoids in a product. For example, if a patient wishes to purchase five 100 milligram candy bars, he or she will be able to purchase the remaining weight in flower, concentrates or topicals (which equals around 2.48 ounces of usable marijuana) within a 14-day period.
Although patients can shop at multiple dispensaries, purchases are tracked in real-time throughout the state to prevent purchases of more than 2.5 ounces every 14 days. Where to Buy
Where to Purchase Marijuana in Nevada
Medical marijuana dispensaries are open for business, and many now have dual-licensed facilities, meaning they are able to dispense cannabis to both recreational and medical patients. Check out our Nevada dispensary directory for the current complete list.
Recreational dispensaries are determined by county size, with 80 being allocated to Clark County, 20 to Washoe County, four to Carson County and two to the additional 14 counties. Most dispensaries can be found in highly populated areas like Las Vegas and Reno, with the remaining ones sprinkled throughout the rest of the state.
Dispensary store hours must be authorized by local governments, be in operation during and only during their established timeframe and have their store hours clearly posted at all times.
Store hours vary based on local government regulations. For example, Las Vegas allows medical dispensaries to operate between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm, while Reno dispensaries may be permitted to stay open as late as midnight.
Where Can You Consume Marijuana in Nevada?
Cannabis consumption is for private use only. It is illegal to smoke in public, on federal land or in a vehicle without risking a fine.
There is currently one marijuana social lounge in operation in Nevada, though more are planned on the way.
Though some hotels allow tobacco smoke, most will not permit marijuana use because of concerns regarding conflicting federal law. This is especially true of casinos that work hard to meet gaming regulations, making them less likely to “gamble” with federal marijuana law.
Although there has been some discussion about opening a few marijuana resorts on Las Vegas Boulevard in the future, it’s always best to keep a low profile when consuming cannabis in Nevada.
Those caught violating public consumption laws in Nevada will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. The ruling judge may assign community service in addition to or in lieu of both jail time and fines.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Nevada
Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Nevada and could result in a fine, potential community service and even jail time. Law enforcement officials will determine if a person is under the influence of marijuana by requesting either a urine sample, blood sample or field sobriety test.
If the urine sample shows at least ten nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or 15 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite) or the blood test shows two nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or five nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite), the person will be considered high “per-se,” though this can often be contested in court.
When marijuana is being transported in a vehicle, it should be in a sealed container away from the driver and any minor passengers. Failure to do so could result in an “Open Container” fine or, in the case of minors in the vehicle, the much more severe citation “aggravating circumstance.”
It is also illegal to take marijuana across state lines even if the next destination also has legal marijuana laws because of different marijuana regulations in each state.
The U.S. Postal Service should never be used as a cannabis delivery system. All mail is subject to search, especially if it smells like marijuana. If an employee at the post office notices an odd or suspicious package, they are required to report it to the proper authorities. If they decide that there is something illegal in the package, they might still deliver it and then arrest the addressee for sending contraband through the mail.
Consumption by Minors
Unless the minor has a valid medical marijuana recommendation, it is illegal for him or her to consume cannabis and cannabis-infused products and could result in a misdemeanor.
Those caught distributing marijuana-related products to minors are punishable with a minimum one-year sentence for first time offenses and up to life in prison (with potential parole after five years) for subsequent offenses.
As party of the passing of Question 2, growing at home will be banned within 25 miles of any dispensary, effectively blocking most of the population of Nevada from growing their own flower. This stipulation may be waived if the dispensary is unable to supply the marijuana to the cardholder, the cardholder is too ill to travel to the dispensary, or the cardholder lacks transportation to travel to the dispensary. Those that are allowed to cultivate can only grow up to 12 plants total, regardless of whether they are mature or not. Explore Strains
Out-of-state patients with a valid medical marijuana card issued in their home state can purchase cannabis legally in Nevada.
Visiting patients must meet the following conditions and abide by all of Nevada’s medical marijuana possession laws regardless of how much marijuana each patient is allowed to possess in their home state:
- Must have a valid, non-expired medical marijuana card from their home state.
- Their home state must exempt medical marijuana cardholders from criminal prosecution for medical marijuana use.
- The law in your home state must require that physicians advise patients about the benefits of using medical marijuana to ease a patient’s symptoms before a card is issued by that state.
- The Nevada authorities must be able to verify the validity of your medical marijuana card by accessing a database of registered users.
The majority of medical cannabis states meet these criteria, and the state of Nevada does not maintain a list of programs that do not meet the criteria. If you are uncertain whether or not your medical card is accepted at a Nevada dispensary, it is best to call ahead to be certain before visiting the store.
Nevada allows medical cannabis delivery, and has granted temporary permission for recreational dispensaries to offer delivery during the COVID pandemic. It is unknown if REC delivery provisions will continue after emergency guidelines have been recalled.
Legal information about medical and recreational marijuana laws in Nevada, including Las Vegas and Reno.