Nevada Dispensary Laws

LAST UPDATED JANUARY 26, 2021

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.

Tourist-reliant Nevada may not have seen as much growth in marijuana sales in 2020 as the other US states but still appears on pace to beat its 2019 sales totals of $701 million, with more than $554 million in medical and recreational sales through September 2020. Currently, the Department of Taxation is not accepting new applications for cannabis retail stores; 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. This page is informational only and should not be considered legal advice. 

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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?

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
Mark-Balestra

Mark Balestra

Cannabis Business Lawyer & US Special Counsel Segev LLP

Legally reviewed by

Mark Balestra

Mark Balestra has 23 years of experience in emerging highly regulated industries and has been representing clients in the cannabis industry for the past 2 years. Through his cannabis practice, he has provided legal guidance in the areas of licensing, compliance, corporate governance, corporate transactions, human resources, and commercial transactions.

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