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6 Things You Need to Know About Nevada Marijuana Laws in 2019

Morris Law Center



Recreational marijuana was legalized in Nevada by a ballot initiative in November of 2016, and since then, the industry has boomed. In the first year, revenue from legal sales was 25% more than initially projected[1], with total tax revenue of $69.8 million.[2] What’s more, these first-year figures are set to be surpassed by this year’s numbers.[3] Needless to say, recreational marijuana is becoming a prominent Nevada industry, and more and more average citizens are coming into contact with it. However, just because it is legal state-wide doesn’t mean there aren’t myriad restrictions to follow; marijuana is still a controlled substance. So, to help clear up the confusion, here are some basic things to know about growing, buying, and consuming recreational marijuana in Nevada:

1. Only adults over the age of 21 can legally buy, grow, and consume marijuana.[4]

2. You can ONLY legally buy marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary.[5]

3. You can only legally posses up to 1 ounce of marijuana.[6]

4. Marijuana can ONLY be consumed on private property, with the permission of the property owner.[7]

  • Marijuana cannot be consumed in any public space, although Las Vegas is set to consider an ordinance to allow consumption lounges in the city.
  • Marijuana cannot be consumed in a moving vehicle, even if you’re the passenger[8]

5. Marijuana can be grown at home ONLY for personal consumption, and ONLY if there is no state-licensed retail marijuana store within 25 miles of the home.[9]

  • Plants may not be visible from a public place, must be secured, and only 6 plants can be grown per person with no more than 12 per household.
  • Plants may not be visible from a public place, must be secured, and only 6 plants can be grown per person with no more than 12 per household.

6. Employers can enact workplace policies prohibiting or restricting the use of recreational marijuana.[10] Furthermore, employers may terminate employees that test positive for marijuana, even though it is decriminalized.[11]

In addition to these State regulations, it is important to remember that marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug at the Federal level, which means that it is illegal to transport across state lines and borders between countries.[12] Marijuana’s Schedule 1 designation also means that Federally, it is not accepted as having any medical value. The conflict between State (33 states currently allow legal use of marijuana in some form[13]) and Federal law is something that has been debated both in legal and public forums. In 2005, a US Supreme Court ruling found that State laws do not prevent Congress from prohibiting and criminalizing marijuana use in those states where it is legal.[14] Though it’s important to note that the Federal government has not made it a priority to go after legal dispensaries or recreational users.

Suffice to say, the law surrounding marijuana is complex, but it is valuable for the average citizen and tourist of Nevada to understand the legal nuances involved. When using a controlled substance, it is imperative to exercise caution and have a complete understanding of local and federal regulations.

And finally, as we always say, “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us before anything is set in stone. We love answering questions!

By Winnie Wu, Legal Assistant at Morris Law Center, Former UNLV Undergraduate Research Scholar and 2018 University Libraries Lance and Elena Calvert Undergraduate Research Award Winner.


[1] Nevada’s 1st Year of Marijuana Sales Exceeds Highest Expectations. (August 6, 2018).  Insurance Journal. Retrieved from https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2018/08/06/497194.htm

[2] June Marijuana Revenue Statistics News Release. (August 28, 2018). State of Nevada Department of Taxation. Retrieved from https://tax.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/taxnvgov/Content/TaxLibrary/News-Release-June-Marijuana.pdf

[3] Schulz, Bailey. Nevada marijuana tax revenues top $31M from July to October. (December 31, 2018). Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/nevada-marijuana-tax-revenues-top-31m-from-july-to-october-1562785/

[4] NRS 453.D.020

[5] NRS 453D.020(3)

[6] Possession & Consumption. (2019). Marijuana in Nevada. Retrieved from http://marijuana.nv.gov/Legal/PossessionAndConsumption/

[7] Id.

[8] NRS 453D.400(2)

[9] NRS 453D.400(1)

[10] NRS 453D.100(2)

[11] Deitchler, Dale L. Esq., and Wendy M. Krincek, Esq. (February 2018). Weed and Work: Are Marijuana Users the Newest Projected Class?. State Bar of Nevada. Retrieved from https://www.nvbar.org/wp-content/uploads/NevadaLawyer_Feb2018_WeedAndWork.pdf

[12] Controlled Substance Schedules. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Control Division. Retrieved from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/.

[13] Berke, Jeremy and Skye Gould. (January 4, 2019). This map shows every US state where pot is legal. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/legal-marijuana-states-2018-1

[14] Gonzales V. Raich, 2005

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