In 2016 Nevada voters approved the legalization of cannabis for recreational use under Question 2, also known as the Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The law went into effect on January 1, 2017. Nevada passed the Medical Use of Marijuana Act twice (a requirement needed to amend the state constitution), once in 1998 and again in 2000. Medical marijuana was then made legal by the state in 2001.
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. Recreational consumers who are twenty-one (21) years of age and older are able to purchase up to one (1) ounce of cannabis (or up to one eighth (1/8) ounce of concentrate) at a time.
Anyone eighteen (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 one eighth (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 eighteen (18) years old and older (or their caregivers) can purchase up to two and a half (2.5) ounces worth of usable marijuana within a two-week period (fourteen (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 (5) 100 milligram candy bars, they will be able to purchase the remaining weight in flower, concentrates or topicals (which equals around two point forty-eight (2.48) ounces of usable marijuana) within a fourteen (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 two and a half (2.5) ounces every fourteen (14) days.
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.
Recreational dispensaries are open across the state, with the majority found in highly populated areas like Las Vegas and Reno. Check out our Nevada dispensary directory for the current complete list. Where to Buy
Dispensary store hours must be authorized by local governments, be in operation during and only during their established time frame, 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 6:00 am and 10:00 pm, 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. Assembly Bill 341 was passed in June of 2021, and allows for consumption lounges attached to dispensaries, and as independent businesses as well. The law went into effect October 1, 2021, and lounges are expected to open in 2022.
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.
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 (10) nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or fifteen (15) nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite) or the blood test shows two (2) nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or five (5) 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 (1) year sentence for first time offenses and up to life in prison (with potential parole after five (5) years) for subsequent offenses.
As part of the passing of Question 2, growing at home will be banned within twenty-five (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 twelve (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.
*Legal Disclaimer: This article is not meant to serve as legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Laws and regulations are always changing. Therefore, if you have any legal questions regarding Nevada's medical marijuana laws you must consult with a licensed Nevada attorney.