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Marijuana Laws in Nevada:
On January 1, 2017, Nevada’s Question 2 law took effect. It allows adults who don’t participate in the Nevada medical marijuana program to grow and possess cannabis legally. Question 2 also licenses commercial cannabis retail sales and production. The state is required to have regulations in place by January 1, 2018, governing activities related to commercial marijuana.
The State of Nevada also has medical marijuana laws in place. It allows physicians to prescribe medical cannabis to people diagnosed with debilitating and/or chronic medical conditions. All products must be purchased from a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary or retailer.
Possessing Marijuana in Nevada
Question 2 was approved by 55% of Nevada’s voters in the November 2016 election. Under this law, an adult who is not a participant in the state’s medical marijuana program may legally:
• Possess up to 3.5 grams of cannabis concentrate or up to 1 ounce of marijuana at a time
• Grow up to six cannabis plants at any given time
• Possess any harvest cultivated from those plants if the nearest marijuana retailer is more than 25 miles away
Displaying or using marijuana in public is subject to civil penalties. This misdemeanor crime is punishable by a fine up to $600.
Here are some of the other recoverable civil penalties related to Nevada cannabis offenses:
• Between 100 to 2,000 pounds = State entitled to up to $350,000
• Between 2,000 to 10,000 pounds = State entitled to up to $700,000
• More than 10,000 pounds = State entitled to up to $1,000,000
Nevada’s Question 2 also allows adults who are non-participants in the Nevada medical cannabis program to possess concentrates and hashish. Each adult can possess no more than 3.5 grams of hash or marijuana concentrates.
Medical Marijuana Patient Limits
The State of Nevada has enacted medical cannabis laws for patients with debilitating, chronic conditions. These patients must be registered with the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
Each medical marijuana patient can possess no more than 2 ½ ounces of cannabis products in the following combinations:
• Edible cannabis products
Selling Marijuana in Nevada
It is a felony for any unauthorized party to sell or deliver marijuana in the State of Nevada. These felony convictions are punishable as follows:
• Under 100 pounds: First Offense = Fine up to $5,000 and 1-4 years in jail
• Under 100 pounds: Second Offense = Fine up to $10,000 and 1-5 years’ imprisonment
• Under 100 pounds: Subsequent Offense = Fine up to $20,000 and 3-15 years in prison
• Between 100 to 2,000 pounds = Fine up to $25,000 and 1-5 years in jail
• Between 2,000 to 10,000 pounds = Fine up to $50,000 and 2-10 years’ imprisonment
Delivering or selling more than 10,000 pounds in Nevada is a serious offense. This felony conviction is punishable by a fine up to $200,000 and a 15-year prison sentence with the possibility of parole after at least 5 years have been served.
However, the presiding judge reserves the right to sentence these offenders to life with the possibility of parole. A minimum term of 5 years must be served before the offender is eligible for parole release.
Selling to a Minor
Selling cannabis to a minor is also a very serious felony in Nevada. These offenders face fines up to $20,000 and 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 5 years. In such cases, the presiding judge may also sentence the offender to a life prison term. Such offenders may also be responsible for paying for the costs of drug treatment for the minor.
If an adult delivers or sells drug paraphernalia to a minor at least 3 years younger, that adult is guilty of committing a felony. This crime is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and 1-5 years’ prison time. The offending adult may also have to pay restitution, which the courts will use to pay for drug treatment for the minor.
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Nevada
According to Nevada’s Question 2, any adult not participating in the medical marijuana program can legally grow cannabis, and possess their harvests, under the following conditions:
• May grow no more than six plants at a time
• May possess all of the cultivated harvests from those plants if the nearest local cannabis retailer is over 25 miles from residence
• May not grow or possess more than 12 plants at one residence at any given time
It’s a felony in the State of Nevada to cultivate more than 12 marijuana plants at a time. The various punishments for growing too many cannabis plants are as follows:
• More than 12 plants = Fine up to $5,000 and 1-4 years’ imprisonment
• Between 100 to 2,000 pounds = Fine up to $25,000 and 1-5 years in jail
• Between 2,000 to 10,000 pounds = Fine up to $50,000 and 2-10 years’ incarceration
• More than 10,000 pounds = Fine up to $200,000 and up to life in prison
Medical Marijuana Patient Cultivation Limits
Patients participating in the Nevada State Medical Cannabis Program may grow and possess up to 12 mature plants. There are limitations placed on those who live within 25 miles of a state-licensed marijuana dispensary.
There’s one exception to this rule. Patients who reside within 25 miles of a local dispensary, who are cultivating a specific strain not sold at the dispensary, may continue growing that strain.
Nevada Hemp Law
The Hemp Law in the State of Nevada was passed in June 2015 under Senate Bill 305, signed by Governor Brian Sandoval. It allows industrial hemp to be legally cultivated under limited conditions. SB 305 complies with hemp cultivation federal regulations as part of a pilot program sponsored by Nevada.
Using Marijuana in Nevada
Marijuana is legalized for personal use in the State of Nevada. The state has also approved a medical marijuana law for patients suffering from chronic, debilitating conditions. Each patient must register, in writing, with the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, and pay a $25 application fee.
These are just some of the qualifying conditions on the state’s medical marijuana list:
• Severe pain
• Severe nausea
• Persistent muscle spasms or seizures
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Other severe conditions may apply, subject to approval
Question 2 allows adults in Nevada to use, possess, manufacture, purchase or transport cannabis paraphernalia legally. These adults may also legally sell or distribute marijuana paraphernalia to anyone older than 21 years of age.
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Nevada
First-time possession offenders may receive suspended sentences and receive conditional probation instead. In these cases, the probation requirements will include a drug treatment or drug education program. The presiding judges dismiss the proceedings against the offender once probation is complete.
Controlled Substance Homicide
Any person who delivers cannabis to a person is responsible if the substance causes that person’s death. The judge presiding over the case may find the deliverer guilty of murder.
In the State of Nevada, there are mandatory minimum sentences for crimes related to both selling marijuana and cultivating it. When a person is convicted of a crime that comes with a mandatory minimum sentence, the presiding judge must sentence the defendant to no less that that term. Therefore, a prisoner sentenced to life as a minimum sentence in Nevada must serve the entire life sentence with no possibility of parole.
Nevada Tax Stamps
Nevada has enacted a state tax stamp law. It mandates that anyone in possession of cannabis is legally required to buy state-issued stamps and affix them to contraband. The tax stamp rate for the State of Nevada is $100 per gram, with an annual registration fee of $250.
Nonpayment of the stamp tax comes with both criminal and civil penalties. The monetary penalties are equal to the tax rate times 200%.