Although Nevada may be best known for its desert landscapes and incredible nights on the Las Vegas Strip, it’s also among the states where residents can obtain medical marijuana.
Different states have different medical marijuana guidelines. If you live in Nevada and want to know more about how to access medical cannabis, our guide will show you everything you need to know.
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Nevada.
Las Vegas, in particular, has many medical marijuana doctors. The rest of the state has also been working with patients to use medical cannabis in treatments.
Marijuana legalization in Nevada has gone through many stages over the years.
The state first legalized the medical use of marijuana in the year 2000. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that Nevada provided widespread and accessible dispensaries for those with medical marijuana cards.
Nevada evolved its marijuana regulations until finally, in 2016, the state legalized recreational marijuana use.
Be aware that the governor of Nevada recently signed Senate Bill 277, a new law that will change the state’s cannabis regulations as of January 1, 2024.
Once these changes go into effect, the state limits on possession will nearly double for users of recreational marijuana.
Having said that, Nevada’s guidelines for recreational usage are still very different from their guidelines for medical or therapeutic usage.
Read on to learn about Nevada’s cannabis laws in 2023, as well as how those laws are expected to change going forward.
If you are an active medical marijuana cardholder in the state of Nevada, you are entitled to certain rights and protections when obtaining and using cannabis.
As of 2023, medical marijuana cardholders have the right to possess up to 2.5 oz of marijuana for medical use.
Patients must also obtain their marijuana from one of the state’s licensed medical dispensaries. This is expected to change in 2024, when Nevada’s latest cannabis law goes into effect.
The new law makes it easier for patients to obtain medical marijuana by removing the licensing requirement for dispensaries that want to sell medical marijuana rather than just recreational marijuana.
When visiting a licensed dispensary, patients can speak with an expert to determine the type of cannabis that may best benefit their health condition. Nevada offers cannabis products in several forms, which you can browse and choose from at your local dispensary.
Smoking can aggravate a number of medical conditions. Some people may even have difficulty using smoking paraphernalia, depending on whether or how their condition limits their abilities.
For those circumstances, non-smokable forms of medical marijuana – such as edibles and tinctures – are great alternatives that may work better.
Nevada residents can visit their local dispensary to get an idea of what products are currently available.
Nevada allows some patients to grow medical marijuana at home, but only in special cases.
You can grow medical marijuana if one or more of the following conditions apply:
If you meet any of the above requirements and have a current Nevada medical marijuana card, you may possess and cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants.
Please note that you can only grow plants for your own personal, medicinal use.
In order to obtain medical marijuana in Nevada, you must obtain a registration for a medical marijuana card. A patient must have one or more qualifying health conditions to be eligible to register.
Medical marijuana often has a higher potency than marijuana sold for recreational use. In Nevada, registered patients can access higher potencies for a stronger medicinal or therapeutic effect.
Below are the steps you’ll need to take to obtain a medical cannabis card:
The first step to obtaining a medical marijuana card in Nevada is to meet with a physician.
You will need to see a physician who is licensed to write you a recommendation for medical marijuana.
The physician will evaluate you to determine if your health condition qualifies you for a medical marijuana card under Nevada law. If you have already been diagnosed with a medical condition that may qualify, you can also speak with your treating physician to determine if they can write you a recommendation.
Otherwise, you can find a number of different medical marijuana doctors in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas. You may need to provide the doctor with copies of your past medical records.
One of the fastest ways to find a doctor is to use an online medical marijuana resource like Marijuana Doctors. In addition to their physician directory, you can also find medical marijuana educational materials and resources on their website.
Once you have a recommendation from your treating physician, you can submit an application for a medical marijuana card.
Thankfully, Nevada’s application process is relatively easy.
Patients can apply either online or via regular postal mail. To apply online, visit Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program registration portal.
You will need to provide a clear photo of the front and back of a valid photo identification card with your paperwork. A Nevada state driver’s license or state-issued ID are examples of acceptable forms of identification.
After you complete the form and upload your ID, you’ll need to pay a registration fee. You may pay either $50 for a one-year registration or $100 for a two-year registration.
Unfortunately, Nevada does not offer registration fee waivers for medical marijuana at this time.
When you register for your medical card online, you will gain access to a portal where you can check the status of your application and find out if you’ve been approved.
You can print a temporary registration card once the Nevada medical marijuana program has approved your application. This temporary registration is good for up to 60 days from the date it was issued.
Nevada will mail a permanent card to the home address you used to register. You can begin using the medical marijuana card as soon as you receive it.
Since medical marijuana card registrations are only valid for a limited period of time, you will need to renew your card every one to two years, depending on the registration period you chose.
It’s important to submit your application for renewal before your current card expires.
To renew your registration, make an appointment with your doctor to obtain an up-to-date recommendation for medical cannabis. Upload their recommendation with your renewal application form online. This will prevent any lapses in obtaining medical marijuana for your medical treatment.
Because medical marijuana is used to ease the symptoms of specific health conditions, patients must have one or more qualifying health conditions to obtain a medical marijuana card.
In addition to being a resident of Nevada, qualifying persons must meet the state’s age and medical requirements.
You must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a medical marijuana card in Nevada.
Having said that, Nevada law allows minors to access medical marijuana under special circumstances.
First, the minor must have a health condition that warrants medical marijuana treatment. The child must have a doctor’s recommendation, as well as their designated primary caregiver’s permission, before they can apply.
The designated primary caregiver’s name will be listed on the child’s medical marijuana registration card. This authorizes the caregiver to obtain medical cannabis from a dispensary, or grow medical cannabis at home, on the child’s behalf.
Not every health condition qualifies a person for a medical marijuana card in Nevada.
Although many states allow the use of medical marijuana, Nevada’s qualifying health conditions may differ from those for out-of-state dispensaries.
Qualifying conditions in Nevada include:
The best way to know if you qualify for medical marijuana is to work with a Nevada doctor who is currently treating your condition.
Your doctor can help you understand your condition and determine if medical marijuana is right for your treatment plan.
Both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana use are legal in Nevada.
However, recreational use must also follow the state rules and regulations.
Nevada legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2016.
Unlike the state’s laws governing medical marijuana, which permits medical marijuana patients who are 18 or older to possess cannabis for medicinal purposes, the use of recreational cannabis is limited to persons who are 21 years of age or older.
A person can possess no more than one ounce of marijuana, or no more than one-eighth of an ounce of cannabis concentrate.
Recreational cannabis users must also be mindful of Nevada’s laws concerning public consumption. At this time, you may only consume recreational cannabis at private residences or licensed venues within the state.
Nevada is still in the process of opening state-licensed venues for the social consumption of recreational cannabis. These are public spaces where the adult use of cannabis is legal.
Because Nevada places significant restrictions on public marijuana consumption, you cannot consume marijuana while walking the strip or standing outside a hotel room or casino.
Using cannabis in a public space, which does not have a license for public cannabis consumption, is a misdemeanor charge under state law. If convicted, the fine can be upwards of $600.
Through the end of 2023, it is still a felony in Nevada to possess more than one ounce of cannabis or more than an eighth of an ounce of cannabis concentrate.
The good news is that Nevada’s governor has signed a sweeping marijuana reform bill that will go into effect beginning January 1, 2024.
When the new law goes into effect, the state’s purchase and possession limits for cannabis will increase from one ounce to 2.5 ounces, as well as from an eighth of an ounce to one quarter of an ounce for cannabis concentrates.
At present, medical marijuana users can access up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana, which is more than the current limit for recreational users.
Medical marijuana cardholders are also subject to different tax rates than recreational users. As of 2023, state excise tax for recreational users is 14.6% but only 4.6% for medical marijuana users.
However, as of January 1, 2024, the state of Nevada’s new law will exempt medical marijuana patients from paying any excise taxes.
As of 2023, the only way that a patient can obtain medical marijuana in Nevada is with the recommendation of their physician.
Healthcare providers must be licensed before they can refer a patient for a medical marijuana card. If you’re a healthcare provider in Nevada who wants to write recommendations for medical marijuana, here’s what you need to know.
Healthcare providers who are in good standing with the state medical board, and who are already licensed to write prescriptions, may write a recommendation for medical marijuana for their patients.
Note that as a healthcare provider, it’s in your best interest to understand the benefits and side effects of medical marijuana. You can also help your patients by understanding and guiding them through the application process.
Medical marijuana can be a fantastic medical or therapeutic treatment option for those in Nevada who have one or more serious health conditions.
Work with your treatment physician or medical provider to determine if medical marijuana is the right choice for you. You can also use Marijuana Doctors’ resources and physician index to find a medical marijuana doctor who can evaluate you for a recommendation.
As always, it’s important to understand your state’s cannabis rules and regulations to ensure the safe and effective use of medical marijuana.