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.
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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.
Yes. Conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Nevada include:
Learn how to remain compliant with Nevada cannabis retail laws.
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.
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.
Medical patients or their caregivers may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana within a 14-day period.
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.
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).
Marijuana establishments in Nevada may not:
Additionally, all advertising must contain “Keep out of reach of children” and “For use only by adults 21 years of age and older” warnings.
Before selling any marijuana products to a consumer, Nevada retailers must:
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.
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.
Metrc provides statewide seed-to-sale tracking and reporting in Nevada.
Yes. Cova’s dispensary point of sale and inventory management system includes all the features needed to keep Nevada dispensaries compliant, including:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rules and regulations regarding advertising for Washington cannabis companies are constantly changing. You can view the WSLCB’s Q&A on advertising here.
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:
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.
By choosing a POS system with built-in tax reporting functionality, you’ll always know exactly how much tax you need to pay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cannabis Business Lawyer & Founding Partner, Segev LLP
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.