Nevada may be the state people visit to have fun and enjoy themselves in privacy, but the state does have laws regarding cannabis use. Whether visiting or living there, it’s a good idea to know what to expect in terms of using marijuana or any other form of cannabis. The good news is both recreational and medical use of marijuana are legal in Nevada. Here’s what you need to know beyond that.
When Did Nevada Legalize Marijuana?
The first step towards the legalization of cannabis in Nevada happened in 2000 when voters passed the Medical Use of Marijuana Act. The act only allowed for use for those who obtained approval for cannabis from their medical provider. Then, individuals had to apply for a card that allowed them to purchase cannabis. The law didn’t go into effect until 2015.
In November of 2016, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was passed by voters. This law makes recreational use of cannabis legal for people who are over the age of 21. The law went into effect in July of 2017.
It’s also important to know the laws in the cities. Some cities have additional taxes or limitations on where cannabis can be used.
How Do You Buy Cannabis in Nevada?
To legally purchase cannabis for recreational or medical use, people need to visit a Nevada dispensary licensed under the state. That’s essential. The state regulates all sales of cannabis for any use through dispensaries. Most dispensaries will require users to show proof of identification. If under the age of 21, a person must have medical approval to buy cannabis.
Since the approval of this law, licensed dispensaries have become available in most larger cities in Nevada. There’s ample access in most areas including with online and curbside ordering and pickup.
What Is a Consumption Lounge?
Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 341 into law in 2021. This law allowed for the creation of consumption lounges in the state. In short, these are locations that are alcohol-free that allow adults to both purchase and consume cannabis products. These lounges can be their own business; they can be a part of a licensed dispensary. The law went into effect in October of 2021. As long as local licenses are approved (cities can exempt or limit access to these lounges), a person is able to visit these locations and enjoy cannabis with some friends in a safe environment.
Another benefit to consumption lounges is what they will allow tourists to do. Those who are traveling to Nevada from a state that does not have legalized marijuana for recreational use have access to these lounges with proper identification. That means they will allow people to visit, purchase cannabis products, and relax while using it.
One key restriction here is that Nevada law does not allow these lounges to be located near bars, casinos, or gaming machine areas. For those traveling for the slots and hoping to find a lounge, you may have to drive a bit to find them.
Know the Limitations on Using Cannabis in Nevada
One of the reasons why consumption lounges are so important is because there are rules on where cannabis products can be consumed in public. A tourist, who does not have a local private home and is unlikely to be allowed to use cannabis in a hotel, has no place to use it.
Under the law, it is legal for those who are 21 years of age or older to possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of cannabis topicals, flowers, or edibles. It is legal to have as much as 3.5 grams of marijuana concentrates as well.
Home cultivation of marijuana is allowable under state law as well. Specifically, adults are allowed to grow up to 6 plants per person living in the home. A cap of 12 plants per household exists. One key limitation on this is location. To grow marijuana in a home, the home has to be located at least 25 miles from the Nevada dispensaries.
For those who have a medical marijuana card, the rules are a bit different. Both caregivers and patients may have up to 2.5 ounces of edibles, flowers, or concentrates. This amount may be purchased every two weeks. Patients are also allowed to grow up to 12 plants at home.
Where Can You Use Cannabis?
It’s also important to know there are restrictions on where cannabis can be used. As noted, consumption in public is not allowed. The state’s laws specifically state that cannabis must be consumed in all forms in private homes. It cannot be used in vehicles, parks, close to schools, or on any federal land.
From there, limitations may arise based on the rights of the property owner. For example, if a hotel does not allow it, cannabis cannot be used there. Also, if a building is smoke-free, it is illegal to use any cannabis in that location as well.
Knowing the rules and restrictions on cannabis use is critical to anyone visiting or using for the first time. Luckily, recreational and medical use of cannabis is legal in Nevada.