Nevada Marijuana Laws
This state has legalized marijuana for recreational and medical use.
Ballot Question 9 (Medical) – Passed on November 7, 2000 (Medical)
Question 4 Marijuana Legalization Initiative (21 and over) – Passed November 8, 2016
How The Law Reads:
Ballot Question 4 – Approved Nov. 8, 2016 by 54% of voters
Effective: Jan. 1, 2017
Question 2 was designed to allow adults aged 21 or older to possess, consume, and cultivate some marijuana for recreational purposes. The initiative created a new 15 percent excise tax, with revenue from the tax being spent on enforcing the measure and schools. It also authorized and regulated marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and distributors.
Who will regulate marijuana?
Under the measure, the state’s Department of Taxation will have until Jan. 1, 2018, to adopt regulations implementing the law. Those regulations will address such things as licensing procedures and qualifications, requirements for security measures, product testing, packaging, record-keeping and tax collections.
How will marijuana be taxed?
The measure imposed a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales by cultivation facilities. It mandated that annual licensing fees range from $3,300 to $30,000, depending on the type of license. Question 2 was designed to allocate revenue from the tax, licensing fees, and penalties first to the Department of Taxation and local governments to cover costs related to the measure, and then all remaining revenue to the State Distributive School Account.
What will penalties be?
Question 2 permitted the government to enforce or implement policies prohibiting driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana, selling or giving marijuana to someone under 21, possessing or using marijuana on the grounds of schools or the Nevada Department of Corrections, or allowing workplaces to ban marijuana use.
The initiative also established new penalties for cultivating marijuana within public view, smoking in a public place or moving vehicle, and providing marijuana to persons less than 21 years of age.
Although Nevada is considered a “decriminalization” state, simple possession of marijuana can still be treated harshly. First offense possession of up to an ounce is punishable by a $600 fine instead of jail time, but it remains a misdemeanor. The individual is subject to arrest and drug addiction screening that could lead to mandatory treatment and rehabilitation, and a criminal conviction can lead to a lifetime of discrimination which can limit job opportunities and housing options. A second offense carries a $1,000 fine and drug addiction screening. The penalties for third and fourth offenses continue to worsen. Incredibly, possession of two ounces could land a Nevadan in jail for four years.
Approved Conditions: AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; and any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures, severe nausea or pain. Other conditions are subject to approval by the health division of the state Department of Human Resources.
Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, three mature plants, and four immature plants.
Registry: The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. Patients who do not join the registry or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the “affirmative defense of medical necessity” if they are arrested on marijuana charges. Legislators added a preamble to the legislation stating, “[T]he state of Nevada as a sovereign state has the duty to carry out the will of the people of this state and regulate the health, medical practices and well-being of those people in a manner that respects their personal decisions concerning the relief of suffering through the medical use of marijuana.” A separate provision requires the Nevada School of Medicine to “aggressively” seek federal permission to establish a state-run medical marijuana distribution program.
Amended: Assembly Bill 453
Effective: Oct. 1, 2001
Created a state registry for patients whose physicians recommend medical marijuana and tasked the Department of Motor Vehicles with issuing identification cards. No state money will be used for the program, which will be funded entirely by donations.
Nevada State Health Division
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, NV, 89706
NV Medical Marijuana Program