Nevada Cannabis Laws

Is Cannabis Legal In Nevada?
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StateRecreationalMedical MarijuanaCBD

Federal Law:

Recreational Medical MarijuanaCBD

Is recreational cannabis legal in Nevada?

Yes. Recreational adult-use cannabis became legal, with the approval of Nevada’s Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana (Question 2) in 2016. The initiative went into effect in 2017, allowing adults 21 or older to purchase and consume cannabis for recreational use at these possession limits:

  • 1oz for flower
  • .125 oz for concentrate
  • 6 plants per person
  • 12 plants per household 

It is only legal to grow cannabis plants if the Nevadans live more than 25 miles away from a state-licensed dispensary.  Also, cannabis can only be consumed in private; it’s illegal to smoke in public.  

Is Medical Marijuana legal in Nevada?

Yes. Since 2000, full-strength medical marijuana has been legal for those 18 years or older who have a valid medical marijuana card, even if the card has been issued from another state. Minors can also qualify for a medical card as long as a parent or guardian signs a release form agreeing to act as the child’s primary caregiver. Under these guidelines, patients/guardians can possess:

  • 2.5 oz per 14 days of any cannabis product 
  • 6 plants per person
  • 12 plants per household (following the same procedures as recreational use, medical marijuana growers must live 25 miles away from state-licensed dispensaries).

While there are limits on qualifying conditions deemed acceptable to carry a medical marijuana card, patients can petition to have their condition added to Nevada’s recognized list of requirements. 

Are CBD products legal in Nevada? 

Yes. Since the passage of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal law in the United States, as long as they contain at most 0.3% THC. 

Any and all CBD in food and drink is still federally illegal.

What’s Nevada’s cannabis sales tax? 

Nevada’s medical marijuana and recreational cannabis products are subject to the state’s sales tax, which is 4.6%.

Are there any other Nevada cannabis tax rates?

Yes. There is wholesale medical marijuana and wholesale recreational excise tax rate of 15%, paid by the cultivator. Nevada also imposes an excise tax rate of 10% on all retail sales, but medical marijuana cardholders are exempt from this tax.

Is cannabis delivery legal in Nevada?

Yes. Home delivery from dispensaries is legal; however, deliveries can only be made to a personal residence. For example, it is illegal to have cannabis delivered to your hotel room. Other delivery restrictions include:

  • You can only have 1oz to be delivered at a time.
  • Only dispensary employees can deliver directly from the retailers (no third parties)
  • All cannabis products are tracked.
  • Delivery services are still subject to local limits based on time, place, and manner of delivery (operating hours and delivery locations). 

Nevada’s Cannabis Timeline:

1923: Nevada’s cannabis prohibition begins.

1937: The Marihuana (archaic spelling of Marijuana) Tax Act was enacted banning cannabis at the federal level. Medical Marijuana use was still permitted.

1951: The Boggs Act, Sponsored by Hale Boggs and signed into law under President Harry S. Truman, This act set mandatory sentencing and increased punishment for cannabis possession. 

1969: The Marihuana Tax Act is deemed unconstitutional in the landmark Leary v. United States. Timothy Leary, a professor, and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Leary then challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated his Fifth Amendment rights. (The self-incrimination clause provides various protections against self-incrimination, including the right of an individual to not serve as a witness in a criminal case in which they are the defendant, better known as “Pleading the Fifth.”) The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Therefore, Leary’s conviction was overturned.

1970: The Controlled Substances Act is enacted (replacing the unconstitutional Marihuana Tax Act). Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, determined to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, thereby prohibiting its use for any purpose. This act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. 

This legislation created five classifications, with specific qualifications for a substance to be included in each. The substances scheduling (classification) are determined by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Yet, Congress does have the power to schedule or de-schedule substances through legislation. Substance scheduling decisions are based on its potential for abuse, accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and international treaties.

Classification of Controlled Substances:

Schedule I: High potential of abuse, not acceptable for medical use

Schedule II: High potential of abuse, sometimes allowed with “severe restrictions” for medical use

Schedule II: Medium potential of abuse, acceptable for medical use

Schedule IV: Moderate potential of abuse, acceptable for medical use

Schedule V: Lowest potential of abuse, acceptable for medical use

1984-1986: Mandatory Sentencing and the three-strikes law were created under the Reagan Administration. This accounts for some of the harshest drug laws created, including mandatory 25-year imprisonment for certain drug offenses and the promotion of the death penalty to be used against “drug kingpins.”

1998: House Joint Resolution 117, encouraged by the passing of California’s Prop 215, the House of Representatives passed this measure to support the existing Federal legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of certain drugs.  

2001: Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Act, Assembly Bill 453, officially passed. 

2014: The Rohrabacher–Farr Amendment passed in the U.S. House and signed into law prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws.

2016: Nevada’s Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana, Question 2 approved.

2017: The beginning of the recreational cannabis market.

2018: Farm bill legalizes low-THC hemp nationwide and effectively de-schedules hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act. 

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