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 “chronic or debilitating medical condition,” 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:
- 55,000 to 100,000: Two
- 100,000-700,000: Ten
- 700,000 or More: Forty
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.