Medicinal cannabis was legalized on November 7th, 2000, but the first medical marijuana dispensaries were not opened until the summer of 2015. Question 2, which legalized marijuana use for anyone over the age of 21, was later passed on November 8th, 2016.
Nevada’s decision to make it legal for adults to possess and use marijuana captured a lot of interest from tourists as well as residents of Las Vegas. Though marijuana is legal for recreational use in Nevada, the law has restrictions that have created confusion and led to arrests and criminal convictions of many people in Las Vegas.
How much marijuana can a person legally possess in Las Vegas?
Recreational consumers are allowed to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower or up to 1/8 of an ounce of concentrate at one time from recreational dispensaries. Note a 15% excise tax will be added to every purchase.
Those with a valid medical marijuana card who are at least 18 years old can purchase up to 2.5 ounces worth of useable marijuana within a two-week period (14 days). This includes flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, etc.
Calculations for this limit are based on the total weight of cannabinoids in a product. For example, if a patient wishes to purchase five 100 milligram candy bars, he or she will be able to purchase the remaining weight in flower, concentrates, or topicals every 14 days.
Although patients can shop at multiple dispensaries, purchases are tracked in real-time throughout the state to prevent purchases that exceed the legal limits.
Because pot is still illegal under federal law, it is illegal to possess marijuana on federal property in Nevada. This includes the Post Office, federal courthouses, Veterans Administration offices, airports (including McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas), national parks, forests, and monuments, such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Little Red Rock, which are popular tourist destinations near Las Vegas.
Out-of-state medical cannabis patients
Although cannabis is legal, that does not mean you can buy it from anyone. The only legal way to buy weed is from a state-licensed retail shop or dispensary.
Out-of-state patients with a valid medical marijuana card issued in their home state can purchase cannabis legally in Nevada.
Visiting patients must abide by all of Nevada’s medical marijuana possession laws regardless of how much marijuana each patient is allowed to possess in their home state. Such legal conditions include:
- Must have a valid, non-expired medical marijuana card from their home state.
- Their home state must exempt medical marijuana cardholders from criminal prosecution for medical marijuana use.
- The law in your home state must require that physicians advise patients about the benefits of using medical marijuana to ease a patient’s symptoms before a card is issued by that state.
- The Nevada authorities must be able to verify the validity of your medical marijuana card by accessing a database of registered users.
The majority of medical cannabis states meet these criteria, and the state of Nevada does not maintain a list of programs that do not meet the criteria. If you are uncertain whether or not your medical card is accepted at a Nevada dispensary, it is best to call ahead to be certain before visiting the store.
Where can tourists legally smoke weed?
Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada in 2016, there has been a great paradox. It is legal to buy and possess recreational marijuana, but unless you are a local resident or friends with one, there is no place you can legally consume it.
Though some hotels allow tobacco smoke, most will not permit marijuana use because of concerns regarding conflicting federal law. This is especially true of casinos that work diligently to meet gaming regulations.
On October 5, the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace made history by opening the first cannabis consumption lounge in Nevada.
Located on sovereign land owned by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, the nearly 16,000 square-foot marketplace, located just north of the Fremont Street casino corridor, is not beholden to the same restrictions as the rest of the state. Instead, it is self-regulated through the Las Vegas Paiute Cannabis Authority.
Efforts by the City of Las Vegas to greenlight public consumption lounges have been delayed until at least July 2021 by the state Legislature.
Those caught violating public consumption laws in Nevada will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. The ruling judge may assign community service in addition to or in lieu of both jail time and fines.
Is it legal to grow cannabis in Las Vegas?
Growing at your home is banned if you live within 25 miles of any dispensary. This effectively blocks most of the population of Nevada from growing their own flower. This stipulation may be waived if the dispensary is unable to supply marijuana to the cardholder, the cardholder is too ill to travel to the dispensary, or the cardholder lacks transportation to travel to the dispensary.
People who do live more than 25 miles away may grow up to six weed plants. No household may have more than 12 plants in total.
The plants must be located in an enclosed space such as a room, greenhouse, or closet. The grow space must have a lock or security apparatus. And the plants cannot be visible to the public. If the grower is not the property owner, the grower must get the owner’s permission.
How much does weed cost in Vegas?
When Nevada opened the doors to its legal cannabis market in 2017, record sales in addition to some early distribution issues led to a price increase of 200 percent. In addition to incredible demand, a paucity of cultivators and a shortage of supply caused legal establishments to raise their prices.
As it currently stacks up, a gram of marijuana flower normally costs $12 to $20 at licensed dispensaries across Nevada while the same quantity of pot can be purchased legally in Portland and Denver for $6 to $10. An eighth of cannabis flower, priced at $35 to $70 in Nevada, costs between $17 to $50 in Oregon and Colorado’s largest cities.
Nevada’s comparatively high pot prices are due to costs paid by dispensaries to state-mandated testing labs and a tax that is as high as 38 percent by the time the weed reaches the buyer. As the industry expands to include more dispensaries and cultivation facilities, more pot supply will force shops to compete for customers.
Nevada has less than one-eighth the number of open dispensaries in both Oregon and Colorado, and costly lab testing standards for those states are not as stringent as they are in Nevada.
How to get a medical cannabis card in Vegas
There are many steps to getting a medical marijuana card in Vegas. First, you need to fill out and mail a registry request along with a check or money order for $25.00 made payable to the Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Second, you must get approval from a Nevada Licensed Physician. For more information visit the Nevada Department of Health website.
Driving under the influence of weed
Driving under the influence of cannabis in the eyes of the law in Las Vegas is as serious as driving drunk. Just like drunk driving, the penalties for stoned driving can be severe. You could face from 2 days up to 6 months jail time, or get mandatory community service, fines, license suspension, or completion of a Nevada DUI school.
Law enforcement officials will determine if a person is under the influence of marijuana by requesting either a urine sample, blood sample, or field sobriety test.
If the urine sample shows at least ten nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or 15 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite) or the blood test shows two nanograms of marijuana per milliliter (or five nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite), the person will be considered under the influence.
DUI of marijuana charges can be difficult for a prosecutor to prove. A criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced to reckless driving or dismissed completely.