Unless you live under a cactus, you know by now that weed is legal in Nevada. In fact, marijuana had a big day on Election Day. With four more states passing recreational cannabis bills, the total number of states where you can legally smoke marijuana is eight, plus the District of Columbia. Four more states passed medical marijuana bills, bringing the total number of states with legal medical marijuana use to 28 and the District of Columbia.
But this new wave of legalization comes with a lot of questions. Residents across the country are asking themselves when and where they can start purchasing legal marijuana. For Nevada residents, we are here to answer your frequently asked questions, so everyone knows what to expect when legal weed hits stores.
Recreational Marijuana in Nevada: FAQ
Can I start smoking marijuana now?
No. Recreational marijuana in Nevada won’t be legal until January 1, 2017. So don’t get too hasty showing off your new legal habit until after New Year’s Eve.
Okay, but once January first rolls around, can I light up anywhere I go?
No. You can only consume cannabis on private property, including your front yard, backyard, and inside your home. You can also consume marijuana while on another person’s private property and in venues with a license for marijuana use. However, this doesn’t mean you can consume marijuana within a Nevada medical marijuana dispensary. The best advice we can give is to ask each dispensary about their rules before taking your weed out of the bag.
I am a medical marijuana patient. Will this new marijuana bill affect me?
It won’t. The medical marijuana bill and recreational marijuana bills are two separate pieces of legislature. Passing Nevada recreational marijuana doesn’t change one word of the medical marijuana regulations.
If I am a medical marijuana patient, should I continue to get my card renewed?
Yes. If you are medical marijuana patient, you are using the cannabis plant medically. This involves seeing a doctor who is knowledgeable and qualified in prescribing medical marijuana for your medical condition at least once a year.
It’s important to keep your doctor updated on your diagnosis and treatment. Also, note medical marijuana patients can possess more cannabis than recreational users due to their medical conditions.
How much marijuana can I legally possess at one time?
If you’re a Nevada medical marijuana patient, you can possess up to 2.5 ounces at a time. If you don’t have a medical marijuana card and will be using the cannabis plant recreationally, you can legally possess up to one ounce at a time within a one-week period.
How much marijuana can I legally grow at one time, if any?
If you live more than 25 miles away from a marijuana facility, you can grow up to six plants at once for personal use in Nevada.
Now that marijuana is legal, can I pick it up at the local smoke shop?
No. Only a licensed dispensary is allowed to sell marijuana for recreational purposes. During the first 18 months after January 1, medical marijuana facilities will have first dibs on getting approved to sell recreational marijuana. After this time frame, the general public can join the marijuana industry by building their own facilities. However, the number of licenses given out will be limited in each county, based on population. Clark County will allow up to 80 retail marijuana dispensary licenses.
When will I be able to purchase legal marijuana from a licensed marijuana dispensary?
Nevada is expected to follow in the same footsteps as Oregon, in which you can purchase recreational marijuana from a medical marijuana dispensary until the time that licensed retail marijuana shops are open. This path is not yet approved, however, and the state has up to a year to figure out how to regulate marijuana sales.
How long will it take marijuana retail shops to open in Nevada?
USA Today reports that recreational marijuana license applications will take approximately six to nine months. The earliest you can purchase recreational marijuana will be late summer or early fall of 2017 if medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to sell to the general public, but many speculate it won’t be until the beginning of 2018.
So even though retail marijuana shops won’t be open January 1, can I still possess marijuana on New Year’s Day?
Yes. A similar situation happened in Oregon, in which residents were allowed to possess marijuana legally even though recreational marijuana shops had not opened up yet. Just months after recreational marijuana passed in Oregon, residents were able to purchase recreational weed from medical marijuana dispensaries until retail shops opened. Nevada is expected to follow the same path as Oregon, but this has not yet been approved. Until then, Nevada residents won’t have any place to purchase marijuana, although it will still be legal to possess and consume on private property.
I am 18 years old. Can I legally purchase and consume marijuana in Nevada?
No. The recreational marijuana bill passed during the 2016 election cycle is limited to people who are 21 years of age and older.
Can I consume marijuana in a casino or bar?
No. Since marijuana is still federally illegal, the gaming industry cannot legally touch it (hence why they didn’t support Nevada question 2). Marijuana is not allowed in casinos or hotel rooms, and those with a liquor license are steering clear as well. However, Tick Segerblom will address this issue in the 2017 Nevada legislature and hopes to make it easier for marijuana smokers to be welcome in bars.
Since California passed recreational marijuana, can I cross state lines to and from California and Nevada with marijuana?
No. You cannot legally cross state lines with marijuana, even if both states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Remember: cannabis is still considered a federally illegal, schedule I substance with no medical value. While we may disagree with this ruling, we still cannot legally pass state lines with marijuana, even if the next state over is weed friendly too.
So if you go to California and purchase legal marijuana, you must consume it all before crossing state lines to Nevada, and vice versa. All marijuana sold and consumed in Nevada must be cultivated in Nevada.
Can I drive while under the influence of marijuana?
No. You cannot legally drive while under the influence of alcohol, and the same goes for marijuana. Joe Brezny, who’s the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, advises waiting at least 4 hours after smoking marijuana before operating a vehicle.
Can I still get fired for using marijuana even though it’s legal in Nevada?
Yes. Nevada is a right to work state. Meaning, they can fire you for wearing the wrong fingernail polish if they want. Let’s hope most of our bosses are cooler than that, but it’s definitely not a good idea to light up during working hours regardless of how cool your boss is. Besides, Nevada bosses can fire you for testing positive for alcohol, and the same applies for marijuana.
Once marijuana is legal, will prices for the cannabis plant drop or stay the same?
While we cannot see into a crystal ball, we can look at what happened in Colorado. When weed was first legalized in Colorado, prices started off slightly higher than black market prices. A few years later, prices in Colorado are so low that cartels and drug traffickers can no longer make any money selling it illegally. Many are expecting a similar pattern to happen here in Nevada.
Now that marijuana is legal in Nevada, it’s up to us to make it safe for our fellow Nevada residents. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the country follows suit when they see the successful implementation of recreational marijuana in Nevada.
Meanwhile, once these legal marijuana bills finally take effect in four new states, Idaho will be an island of abstinence with 77% of its borders surrounded by pot smoking states. Will this state join in the legalizing of marijuana? Probably not anytime soon, since their 2013 Legislature passed a bill against legalizing the substance for any purpose. We guess not all states are ready for the end of prohibition on pot. We’re just glad Nevada is ready for legalized and regulated marijuana that will lower prices, drive away black market dealers, and bring much needed money into our school system.
Learn more about the future of the marijuana industry in Nevada by contacting Las Vegas ReLeaf medical marijuana dispensary. Located just 500 feet from the strip, we’re happy to help you learn more about the marijuana industry, obtain your medical marijuana card in Nevada, provide you with quality lab-tested medical marijuana, and one day maybe recreational marijuana too.