Last Update: March 17, 2014

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services considers agency regulations

In 2013, the Nevada Legislature made significant improvements in the state’s medical marijuana laws when it passed SB 374, a bill that will allow and regulate up to 66 medical marijuana dispensaries as well cultivators, product manufacturers, and testing labs. Businesses will be overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is now in the process of considering and adopting rules it will use to oversee the program. Those who wish to review the proposed rules can see them online here. If you would like email updates from the state as the regulatory process unfolds, you can add your email address to the email list here. We expect to see rules adopted in late 2014.

Local communities including cities and counties are also considering their own rules for how businesses will operate. Some localities have imposed moratoriums on applications for medical marijuana-related business permits and licenses or even indicated such businesses might not be welcome, despite the popularity of the program. Considering the strong support for the recent changes among patients, residents, and lawmakers, we hope local communities will not attempt to frustrate recent efforts to improve the program for the betterment of the state.

Learn about Nevada's marijuana laws

Nevada is one of the 15 states that have decriminalized personal use marijuana possession. In addition to those 15 states, Washington and Colorado now tax and regulate marijuana for legal use by adults 21 and older. In Nevada, first offense possession of one ounce is punishable by a $600 fine instead of jail time, but it remains a misdemeanor, and the individual is subject to arrest and drug addiction screening that could lead to mandatory treatment and rehabilitation. A second offense carries a $1,000 fine and drug addiction screening. The penalties for third and fourth offenses continue to worsen. Possession of two ounces could land Nevadans in jail for four years!

In spite of its decriminalization, there were still over 9,300 marijuana-related arrests in Nevada in 2011, and nearly 90% of them were for marijuana possession. Most Americans now believe marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol. There is still room for vast improvement in Nevada. Please be sure to ask your legislators legalize marijuana for adults' use and to regulate it like alcohol.

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