Legal adult marijuana sales began on July 1


Last update: October 24, 2017


On November 8, 2016, 55% of Nevada voters approved Question 2, which legalizes, taxes, and regulates marijuana for adults 21 and older. The Marijuana Policy Project played a leading role in the campaign, which faced well-financed opposition, including $3.5 million from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered, donated, talked to friends and family, and voted! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Adults 21 and older with a valid ID can purchase up to one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana-infused edibles or concentrates from licensed marijuana retail outlets. Retail marijuana sales are subject to a 10 percent sales tax, which state officials estimate will generate more than $60 million in the first two years.

Supply has been short due to the great demand from customers, which has led to some empty shelves. In an effort to bolster stock, Gov. Sandoval approved emergency measures to increase the movement of marijuana to the state’s 47 licensed retail outlets, some of which have had lines out the door since legal pot was made available on July 1.

Question 2 required the state to initiate adult sales by January 1, 2018, but the Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations allowing sales to begin six months earlier through existing licensed medical marijuana outlets. Marijuana possession has been legal for adults 21 and older since Question 2 took effect on January 1, 2017.

Current marijuana laws in Nevada


Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana or 3.5 grams or less of concentrated marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older.

Retail marijuana stores are operational.

Cultivation of up to six marijuana plants is legal for adults 21 and older if they reside 25 miles or more away from an operating retail marijuana store.

Medical marijuana is permitted. An individual may register as a medical marijuana patient if his or her doctor certifies that the individual suffers from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Cachexia (general physical wasting and malnutrition from chronic disease)
  • Persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis)
  • Seizures (including epilepsy)
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Additional conditions, subject to approval

Patients can purchase marijuana from registered marijuana dispensaries, a registered caregiver, or grow their own if they live more than 25 miles from an operating medical marijuana dispensary.

Medical marijuana program continues to grow


The state’s medical marijuana program continues its rapid growth. As of October 2016, about 23,375 patients were registered in the program — a figure that has well more than doubled since mid-2015. State officials attribute the growth to the availability of regulated dispensaries, many of which started operations in 2015 and earlier this year.

How do medical marijuana patients visiting Nevada get access while in the state?


One of the positive features of Nevada’s medical marijuana law is that the state recognizes the patient status of non-residents who are qualified under their state government’s laws. The medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada are authorized to sell medical marijuana to patients from other medical marijuana states if the patient presents a government-issued medical marijuana card from his or her resident state. 

Timeline of marijuana policy reform in Nevada


2000: Voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from serious health issues

2013: Nevada’s legislature enacted a law expanding the state’s existing medical marijuana program

2016: Voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing marijuana for adults and establishing a regulated marijuana market

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