NEVADA Marijuna Dispensary Laws

Nevada Cannabis Dispensary Laws and Licensing Procedures

Updated on July 19, 2019.

In November 2016, Nevada voters approved a ballot measure to regulate and tax recreational marijuana, in addition to the state’s medical marijuana program. Possession and consumption of cannabis by adults aged 21 and older officially became legal on January 1, 2017.

In early 2018, the Nevada Department of Taxation — which oversees the state’s cannabis industry — began accepting applications for recreational marijuana retail licenses. The first round of licensing was only open to holders of medical marijuana dispensary licenses. In November 2018, the Department opened the application process to those not holding a medical dispensary license and subsequently awarded 61 new retail licenses

Currently, the Department is not accepting new applications; those interested in applying for a marijuana retail license in Nevada may sign up to receive notifications when the next licensing window opens.

Nevada’s Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana law lays out the licensing and operating procedures for retail cannabis stores in the state. On this page, we’ve summarized these rules in Q & A form.

Related resources:

 Oklahoma Dispensary Laws / Washington Dispensary LawsColorado Dispensary Laws / California Dispensary Laws / Missouri Dispensary Laws / Michigan Dispensary Laws / Illinois Dispensary Laws / Montana Dispensary Laws

Nevada Cannabis Laws

An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Nevada.

Who is able to purchase cannabis in Nevada?

In Nevada, adults aged 21 and older may legally purchase recreational cannabis. Additionally, patients with a valid medical marijuana card may purchase medical cannabis, even if the card is issued in a state other than Nevada. Currently, Nevada is the only state that accepts out-of-state medical marijuana cards.

Are there qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients?

Yes. Conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Nevada include: 

  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain

Nevada Dispensary Laws

Learn how to remain compliant with Nevada cannabis retail laws.

Where can a cannabis dispensary be located?

Marijuana establishments may not be located within 1,000 feet of a public or private school for grades pre-K through 12 or within 300 feet of a community facility. Additionally, marijuana establishments must be located in a separate building or facility within a commercial or industrial zone, and must comply with all local zoning, land use, and signage ordinances and rules.

What document do you need to work in a Nevada medical marijuana dispensary?

Each marijuana establishment owner, officer, board member, employee, volunteer, and contractor must obtain an agent registration card by applying through the Nevada Department of Taxation. The application fee is $75, and the card is valid for one year from the date of issue.

What are the purchase limits for medical marijuana patients?

Medical patients or their caregivers may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana within a 14-day period.

What are the recreational cannabis purchase limits?

Adults aged 21 and older may purchase up to one ounce of flower or up to an eighth of an ounce of concentrated cannabis product at one time.

What taxes are collected on retail cannabis in Nevada?

Nevada imposes a 10 percent retail excise tax on recreational cannabis, along with the regular state sales tax of 4.6 percent. Additionally, there is a county sales tax that varies across the state.

For example, in Clark County — which includes the city of Las Vegas — the sales tax is 3.65 percent, putting the total sales tax at 8.25 percent. This means that a recreational cannabis customer at a Las Vegas retail store would pay a total of 18.25 percent in tax.

For medical marijuana sales, the 10 percent excise tax does not apply; medical patients only pay the standard sales tax (state plus county).

What are the laws regarding cannabis advertising and promotion in Nevada?

Marijuana establishments in Nevada may not:

  • Engage in false or misleading advertising statements or illustrations
  • Promote overconsumption of marijuana
  • Depict actual consumption of marijuana and/or a child or anyone under the age of 21 consuming marijuana
  • Depict any objects suggesting the presence of a child, including toys, characters, cartoons, mascots, action figures, balloons, or any other depictions designed to be appealing to or encourage marijuana consumption to children or anyone under the age of 21
  • Advertise in any publication, radio, television, or any other medium if 30 percent or more of the audience is reasonably expected to be under the age of 21 
  • Sponsor any youth sports and entertainment events, including advertising on team uniforms
  • Place an advertisement on or inside of a public transportation vehicle or shelter
  • Place an advertisement at a sports entertainment event to which minors under the age of 21 are allowed
  • Place an advertisement anywhere that is prohibited by local ordinance
  • Advertise or offer any marijuana product as “free” or “donated” without a purchase

Additionally, all advertising must contain “Keep out of reach of children” and “For use only by adults 21 years of age and older” warnings.

What steps are required of Nevada retailers before selling marijuana to consumers?

Before selling any marijuana products to a consumer, Nevada retailers must: 

  • Verify the age of the consumer by checking a government-issued photo ID card using a scanner to determine its validity
  • Offer any appropriate consumer education or support materials
  • Enter the following information in the inventory control system:
    • The amount of marijuana product sold
    • The date and time at which the product was sold
    • The registration card number of the employee who sold the product
    • The retail establishment’s license number



Cannabis Tracking, Reporting, and Inventory Control in Nevada

Every regulated cannabis market has its own tracking and reporting requirements. Find out how Nevada will monitor commercial cannabis activity here.

What are the tracking and reporting requirements for Nevada cannabis retailers?

Retail marijuana establishments must connect to and use the seed-to-sale tracking system contracted by the state of Nevada to track and report all required data, including inventory, product acquisitions, sales, and disposals.

What are the inventory control system requirements for cannabis retailers in Nevada?

Nevada marijuana retail establishments are required to use an inventory control system that documents each day’s beginning inventory, acquisitions, sales, disposals, and ending inventory. The inventory control system must also document a description of all marijuana products acquired from other marijuana establishments, including the amount, strain and batch number, lot number, and production run number. 

Additionally, marijuana retailers must designate in writing an agent who has oversight of the inventory control system.



What is the official state cannabis verification system in Nevada?

Metrc provides statewide seed-to-sale tracking and reporting in Nevada.

Is Cova compliant with Nevada's cannabis tracking, reporting, and inventory control requirements?

Yes. Cova’s dispensary point of sale and inventory management system includes all the features needed to keep Nevada dispensaries compliant, including:

  • Inventory and sales tracking and reporting that is fully integrated with Metrc, the state’s contracted seed-to-sale system provider
  • Built-in product equivalency conversions and purchase limit enforcement to prevent over-selling
  • ID scanner for age and patient card verification

Cannabis Advertising & Marketing Laws

What restrictions are there regarding cannabis advertising?

There are specific restrictions depending on the advertising medium that we will address below, but overall there are some common restrictions across the board.
 

First, no advertisements for anything cannabis-related can be attractive to minors (no cartoon characters or public figures appealing to a younger age group) or promote underage or out-of-state consumption. Second, no product can claim any therapeutic or curative effects. Lastly, any cannabis advertisement must include the following government warnings:

  • "This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.";

  • "Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.";

  • "There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product."; and

  • "For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.”

What kind of signage are dispensaries allowed to have?

Each licensed retail location can have two signs at their location with their business name or trade name. These signs cannot be larger than 1,600 square feet (measured from the outer frame). No signs can be on the road pointing in the direction of the dispensary, they can only be affixed or hanging from the building or windows of the actual storefront.

What can the signs include on them?

The signs can include the business name, location and identify the nature of the business. It cannot have any photos or depictions of cannabis and it cannot be appealing to minors.

Are cannabis advertisements on billboards allowed?

A cannabis dispensary can advertise on billboards with some restrictions. First, the billboard can only contain the same information as signage on the storefront (i.e., name of business, address and nature of business). It cannot contain any photos or depictions of the cannabis plant (this includes any logo with a cannabis leaf) or appeal to minors. No matter the design, the billboard must say that cannabis can only be purchased and possessed by adults over 21 years old.

Are dispensaries allowed to host giveaways or coupons?

No, dispensaries cannot give away any product or coupons. They can, however, encourage customers to sign up for an email or text list and offer specials that way.

Can a dispensary sell branded merchandise?

No, a dispensary is only allowed to sell legal cannabis products and paraphernalia. But branded merchandise for a dispensary can be sold on their website or through a separate entity.

 

Can a dispensary advertise in print media?

Yes, a dispensary is allowed to advertise in print publications, but with a few restrictions. The publication cannot target or distribute to an audience out of state or underage. And the content of the advertisement must follow the same rules as billboards and signage (no cannabis depictions or photos, cartoon characters or anything appealing to minors and must include government warnings). Local jurisdictions are able to establish additional advertising rules, so always check for relevant local laws.

What is allowed in terms of online advertising?

A retail cannabis business can have a website, but it cannot appeal to or solicit anyone under the age of 21. You can sell branded non-cannabis merchandise on your website, but all cannabis products must be purchased in store.

Can a dispensary host, attend or sponsor events?

Yes, a dispensary can host or sponsor an event, but only if attendees are over 21 years old. They cannot have product on hand, neither as a free gift or sold.

Where can I find more information about cannabis advertising laws in Washington?

Rules and regulations regarding advertising for Washington cannabis companies are constantly changing. You can view the WSLCB’s Q&A on advertising here.

POINT OF SALE

You definitely need a cannabis-specific POS at your dispensary. Find the most frequently asked tech questions here.

How do I manage state compliance using my point-of-sale?

Cova POS software provides complete seed-to-sale tracking functionality and has a number of built-in features designed to help you automatically comply with the legal regulations in your state/province. For example, the Cova POS system automatically monitors:

  • Purchase Limits – The POS system automatically calculates the correct THC amounts for all products, including concentrates and edibles. By relieving your staff of this complex task, the POS prevents mistakes in calculation and allows your budtenders to focus on customer service—and not on mathematical conversions. The system also enforces purchase limits by alerting staff when a limit has been reached and preventing budtenders from executing a sale that would place you over the legal limit.
  • Hours of Operation – The system can be easily configured to comply with local laws. Once the operational hours are set up, the POS will not allow sales to be executed outside the legal hours of operation, preventing potential violations before they occur.
  • Customer Identification Requirements – Customer IDs are easily scanned and recorded, ensuring your staff double checks IDs and virtually eliminating potential sales to minors or other individuals lacking the requisite documentation.
  • Accurate Real-Time Reporting – Operational visibility is also very important for your team. Cova POS software generates management reports in real time. These reports can be easily distributed across the organization to ensure the correct data is in the hands of the correct personnel.
  • Fully Compliant Product Labelling & Receipts Cova Software enables the complete customization of all printed materials, product labels, and receipts, enabling you to comply with all local regulations related to labeling and packaging quickly and easily.



What happens if my internet connection goes down and my dispensary is slammed with customers?

To ensure that you always maintain an expedient transaction pace and keep lines moving, Cova comes with a built-in offline sales processing mode that enables continuous access to critical functions even when your Wi-Fi or internet connection is unavailable. Once connectivity is restored, all transactions performed in offline mode are synchronized with the state’s reporting system, data is backed up, and reports and inventory records are adjusted accordingly.

How do I make sure I submit timely and accurate taxes each month to the government?

By choosing a POS system with built-in tax reporting functionality, you’ll always know exactly how much tax you need to pay.



Why is it important to have a marijuana-specific POS vs. a retail or pharmacy POS?

There are several reasons why a cannabis-specific POS is ideal for your operation—but the most important one is compliance management. Because traditional retail operations and pharmacies don’t have the same government-mandated compliance requirements, their POS systems aren’t built to manage the complexities involved with track and trace reporting and the other aspects of state compliance.

What happens if the state regulations change? How does Cova stay on top of this?

With the industry still in its infancy, regulations are bound to change. At Cova, our team keeps up with industry-wide and state-specific changes so that our developers can quickly made necessary software updates—and so you never have to worry about remaining compliant with the latest regulations.

Is Cova integrated with Metrc?

Currently, Metrc is not yet live in California since the state's regulations have not yet been officially adopted. However, Cova is working closely with Metrc and has already begun the process of integration, and we plan to be ready when the system goes live.



I have a high-traffic store. Can Cova support me and handle my volume?

Absolutely! Cova software is built on technology that has the ability to dynamically scale with your needs. Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Platform, Azure, automatically detects instances of heavy traffic (such as sales on 4/20) and assigns further servers and computing power as necessary to compensate—allowing you to process sales without interruption, even during the busiest retail periods.



Do I have to follow CA compliance even if it is not in effect? Will the POS still process sales?

Although technically you are not mandated to comply with the new law and regulations until July, it’s a good idea to implement a compliant POS now so you don’t have to switch later.

How do I do the 14-day inventory reconciliation?

With Cova, you can easily stay compliant with California’s inventory reconciliation requirement by printing the Inventory-on-hand report and checking it against your physical inventory. You can make any necessary adjustments directly into the POS, which will then sync the data across your network.

Ron Segev

Cannabis Business Lawyer & Founding Partner, Segev LLP

Legally reviewed by

Ron Segev

Ron Segev is the founding partner of Segev LLP. A practical-minded business lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry, he represents cultivators, dispensaries, CBD extractors, oil extractors, food processors, media and marketing companies, consultancies, and other businesses in the legal cannabis market. 

View Ron's full bio

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