Is Marijuana Legal in Las Vegas?

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Nevada Marijuana Laws in 2021 for Recreational and Medical Use

In Nevada, it is legal to possess and consume marijuana for recreational and medical use. However, there are laws restricting how much you can possess and where you can consume the drug. Violation of these laws can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction. It is essential to understand your rights if you are arrested for illegal possession, use, or distribution.

At the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, we represent individuals who have been charged with a drug offense in Nevada. Attorney Ogata is a proud member of the NORML Legal Committee and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Whether you are charged with possessing over 1 ounce of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana, or illegally growing plants in your house, we can help. Contact our office at (702) 840-5062 for a free consultation.

Is it Legal to Possess Marijuana in Nevada?

Holding Cannabis Plant

On November 8, 2016, Nevada voters approved the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which effectively legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the state. Ballot Question No. 2 passed with 54.4% deciding in favor of the legislation. The law went into effect on July 1, 2017.

Prior to the passage of the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, only medical use of marijuana was legal. Until 2017, only individuals with certain illnesses, upon the advice of a physician, were allowed to possess cannabis. Voters approved the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act on November 7, 2000. 

Marijuana Facts & Statistics

Since the legalization of recreational use and possession of marijuana in 2017, the State of Nevada has received millions of dollars in revenue taxes. 

The decriminalization of recreational marijuana has helped to reduce some crime rates throughout the state. For instance, crimes related to the possession and cultivation of illegal marijuana have dropped drastically since legalization.

How has the legalization and taxation of marijuana affected Nevada?

  • Over 50 million people visit Nevada each year, spending over $60 billion in the state. (Nevada Business)
  • Tourism is a critical part of the state’s economy, accounting for nearly one-quarter of its employment. (Nevada Business)
  • Since Nevada does not have a corporate or personal income tax, it relies heavily on taxes such as those on cigarettes, liquor, gaming, and live entertainment. (Nevada Resort Association)
  • In 2017, Nevada began taxing the sale of marijuana. The sale of marijuana is currently subject to several taxes, including licensing fees, sales tax, 10% excise tax, and 15% wholesale tax.
  • In Fiscal Year 2020, the total marijuana excise tax in the state exceeded $105 million. (Nevada Department of Taxation)
  • The decriminalization of marijuana helped to significantly reduce the number of people arrested for illegal marijuana cultivation. (The Nevada Independent)
  • The total number of illegal outdoor marijuana grow sites eradicated by the DEA went from 18 in 2011 to 2 in 2018. (The Nevada Independent)
  • The total number of illegal indoor marijuana grow sites eradicated by the DEA was reduced from a high of 155 in 2012 to 18 in 2018.
  • Those arrested for illegal marijuana cultivation dropped from 145 in 2012 to 11 in 2018. (The Nevada Independent)

Nevada Marijuana Laws

Smoking Marijuana

While Nevada has decriminalized the possession and use of marijuana for recreational and medical use, there are limitations. Under Nevada law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to consume or possess cannabis. The only exception to this rule is if the individual is a registered medical marijuana cardholder. 

Additionally, it is unlawful to purchase more than one ounce of marijuana. Unlawful possession of marijuana or consuming cannabis in public may result in a $600 fine and jail time. Penalties increase based on the amount of substance that you have in your possession. 

Since only licensed dispensaries may sell marijuana, an individual can be charged with a felony if law enforcement believes that they are in possession with the intent to sell. 

New Marijuana Laws for 2021 in Nevada

The CCB recently conducted a study on the feasibility and safe implementation for marijuana “consumption lounges.” If legalized, certain businesses would be designated as Cannabis Consumption Lounges, which would allow people to consume cannabis on their premises. This would expand the places where a person could legally consume cannabis beyond just their private residence.

Medical Marijuana Requirements in Nevada

The state created a medical marijuana cardholder registry run by the Department of Health and Human Services Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). In general, medical marijuana patients and caregivers have fewer restrictions than recreational pot users. 

For instance, a medical marijuana patient or caregiver may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis edibles, flowers, concentrate, or topicals per 14 day period.

Medical marijuana may be legally possessed for the treatment or alleviation of:

  • Cancer;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome;
  • Severe, persistent nausea or cachexia;
  • Epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizure;
  • Multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; 
  • Other conditions approved by law for such treatment.

A medical diagnosis must be made by a licensed physician. Minors must have written authorization by a physician, parental consent, and parental control of the acquisition and use of the plant. The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act did not affect Nevada’s medical marijuana use program.

Contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a marijuana-related drug charge, contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata today for a free consultation. Attorney Ogata is a nationally-recognized criminal defense lawyer that can help fight the charges against you. 

Call (702) 840-5062 to get started. Let us help you prove your innocence and maintain your freedom. 

How Much Marijuana May I Possess in NV?

As noted by the Cannabis Compliance Board, Nevada allows individuals to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis or ⅛ of an ounce of concentrated cannabis. Only adults over the age of 21 may purchase and consume cannabis unless they are a medical marijuana cardholder. A person must show identification to buy cannabis from a retail location or licensed dispensary. It is unlawful to purchase marijuana from anywhere except for a licensed location.

Rolling marijuana jointWhat is Marijuana Trafficking?

Under Nevada law, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally sell, manufacture, deliver or bring into the state marijuana or concentrated cannabis. Trafficking of 50 pounds or more of marijuana or 1 pound or more of concentrated cannabis is punishable as a category C felony. It may result in a prison sentence and a fine not to exceed $25,000. 

Marijuana trafficking is a serious offense in the State of Nevada. It is essential to contact an experienced attorney if you are being investigated for or have been charged with a trafficking offense.

Do I Need a Medical Marijuana License in NV?

In the State of Nevada, adults over the age of 21 do not need a medical marijuana license to use or possess marijuana. However, it is unlawful to consume cannabis in a public place. Currently, the law requires that marijuana is smoked or used in a private residence with the permission of the property owner.

Where Can I Legally Purchase Marijuana in Nevada?

In Nevada, marijuana must be purchased from a licensed retailer or dispensary. It is illegal to consume cannabis or marijuana while in a vehicle. Once purchased, the marijuana must be taken home in a sealed container. It is important to know that it is unlawful for the driver or a passenger to consume marijuana in a moving vehicle.

Can I Grow Marijuana in NV?

Generally, you can only purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary. However, there are some exceptions that allow individuals to grow or cultivate the plant at their homes. Nevada allows residents that live more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary to grow up to six plants per person and twelve plants per household. 

As noted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, if you do not own the property, you must obtain the property owner’s consent in order to grow the plants, and they must be kept out of sight.

Additionally, medical marijuana patients and caregivers may grow up to 12 plants and are not subject to the same restrictions as recreational pot users. Medical marijuana patients and caregivers are still heavily regulated by the state, so it is important to ensure that you are abiding by all requirements, including registering for the Medical Marijuana Program.

Can I Smoke Marijuana While Driving in NV?

It is unlawful to smoke marijuana while driving. Additionally, it is illegal for your passenger to smoke while in a moving vehicle. 

rick proctor PGc9Vid8O24 unsplashCan I Get a DUI for Marijuana in NV?

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Nevada has strict driving while impaired laws, which could result in jail time if convicted. NRS 484C.110 makes it unlawful for a person to be in actual physical control of a vehicle with two nanograms per milliliter or more of marijuana (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) or five nanograms per milliliter or more of marijuana metabolite (11-OH-tetrahydrocannabinol) in their blood.

Where Can I Legally Consume Marijuana in Nevada?

Currently, marijuana can only be consumed in a private residence with the permission of the property owner. Property owners have the right to restrict the use of cannabis on any premises they own.

It is illegal to consume or smoke marijuana in any of the following places in Nevada:

  • State and federal parks
  • Sporting events and stadiums
  • Casinos
  • Hotels
  • Concert venues
  • Festivals
  • Retail shops
  • Dispensaries
  • On the street
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Common areas of apartment buildings and condominium complexes
  • Moving vehicles
  • Office buildings

If you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related crime, call our skilled defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata today! 

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