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buying marijuana in nevada

You can now buy legal marijuana in Nevada

Sales of recreational marijuana kick off in Nevada on Saturday, July 1, and the state is expecting on onslaught of tourists coming to sample the local merchandise.

But visitors might have tough times finding the drug in stores.

Anyone who is 21 and over with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot (or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates) from one of several medical marijuana dispensaries that have been approved for recreational sales.

State regulators have issued the licenses necessary to 37 retail outlets in Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County, as of June 29, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

In a legal snafu, those stores may sell the marijuana they have in stock for recreational use, but may not resupply their inventory and sell the new stuff to non-medical users. Their stock may run out as early as August, leaving recreational users without a place to buy their legal bud.

Alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to move recreational marijuana from growers to retailers in Nevada, as part of a temporary court order that was extended by a Carson City district judge in June. Nevada intends to appeal the order, so that the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries can obtain pot distribution licenses, according to the Associated Press.

Nevada is the only state with legalized marijuana that has such an arrangement.

In addition to Nevada, voters in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of the drug.

It became legal to possess up to an ounce of pot in Nevada and use it in private residences on January 1. Before then, residents needed a medical card to shop at dispensaries.

Tourists are expected to make up 63% of recreational pot sales, Nevada officials told the Associated Press. More than 40 million people visited Las Vegas in 2016.

Recreational marijuana is coming to Las Vegas and beyond.

LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS

Nevada

Is marijuana legal in Nevada?

Yes, both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Nevada.

Legislation history

Nevada marijuana legalization began when voters passed the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act , or Question 2, on November 8, 2016, with 54.4% voting in favor. The Nevada recreational weed laws went into effect July 1, 2017, allowing adults 21 and older to purchase and consume cannabis for personal use. Before approval of Question 2, possession and consumption were reserved for medical cannabis patients suffering from serious health issues.

The Medical Use of Marijuana Act , or Question 9, was approved by 65.4% of Nevada voters in 2000. It legalized home cultivation of cannabis for medical use and created a patient registry system. However, medical marijuana sales in Nevada didn’t take place until 2015.

Jurisdiction over both the medical marijuana and adult-use programs belongs to the Nevada Department of Taxation. Before Question 2, the medical marijuana program was administered by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). The DPBH currently administers the Medical Marijuana Patient Cardholder Registry.

Where is it safe to purchase?

Patients, caregivers, and adults 21 and older can purchase and consume cannabis from licensed retailers or a Nevada dispensary. Recreational users pay a 10% excise tax. No one is allowed to purchase more than 1 ounce of cannabis at a time.

Finding licensed dispensaries in Nevada

Adults over the age of 21 and medical marijuana card holders can find licensed dispensaries in Nevada and search by major metro areas including Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas. Many dispensaries in Nevada offer delivery and curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales. Delivery is normally illegal in the state but has been allowed temporarily as part of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Where is it safe to consume?

It is illegal to consume cannabis in any public space, therefore consumption must take place on private property, as long as the property owner has not prohibited it. Cannabis may not be used in any moving vehicle by the driver or passenger, and it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.

Possession

For recreational use , adults 21 years and older can legally possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of cannabis edibles, flower, or topicals, and 3.5 grams of marijuana concentrates. Adults can grow up to six plants per person and up to 12 plants per household but only if they reside more than 25 miles from a licensed state dispensary.

Medical marijuana patients and caregivers can possess up to 2.5 ounces of edibles, flower, concentrates, or topicals per two-week period. Patients may grow up to 12 plants for medical purposes.

Medical Marijuana Registry

All patients who qualify for the program must have a recommendation from a certified physician in order to obtain medical marijuana with a Nevada marijuana license. More details can be found online . Only patients who have been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition in which the medical use of marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that condition will receive recommendations.

Qualifying conditions

  • Addiction to opioids
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Neuropathic conditions
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those caused by multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures, including those caused by epilepsy
  • Severe nausea or pain
  • Any other chronic or debilitating medical condition as classified by the DPBH, or upon the acceptance of a petition to add a condition to Nevada’s recognized list of conditions.

Application process

  1. Register for the Medical Marijuana Program through the online registry .
  2. Fill out the application.
  3. Designate a primary caregiver, if necessary.
  4. Obtain a physician’s signature for the application, certifying that the patient has been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition.
  5. Scan and submit the application along with a copy of a Nevada state identification card or driver’s license to show proof of permanent residency.
  6. Pay the registration fee, which is $50 for one year or $100 for two years.

Caregiver requirements

Patients in the registry who require assistance obtaining or using medical cannabis may only designate one caregiver. Caregivers must be at least 18 years old and a permanent resident of Nevada. Caregivers must be designated as a primary caregiver by the patient and can only provide care for one patient at a time. They must also be the primary person who’s responsible for the person diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition. Approved caregivers can pick up their patients’ medical cannabis at a designated dispensary, and can possess, transport, and administer a patient’s medical marijuana after purchase. Caregivers cannot be medical cannabis users themselves.

Reciprocity

Dispensaries are authorized to sell to out-of-state medical marijuana patients who have medical marijuana cards from their home state. States currently approved for medical cannabis reciprocity can be found on DPBH website.

Lab testing

All cannabis grown and processed in Nevada must be tested by an independent testing laboratory . Laboratories must receive a medical marijuana establishment registration certificate before performing any cannabis quality assurance test. Subsequently, labs must meet certain criteria in order to complete the certification process to conduct tests.

Labs must analyze for the following:

  • Cannabinoids
  • Foreign matter
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbes
  • Moisture content
  • Pesticide and other chemical residue
  • Potency
  • Solvents
  • Terpenes

This page was last updated September 22, 2020.

View the marijuana laws & regulations for Nevada.