SUMMARY: Sixty-five percent of voters approved Question 9 on November 7, 2000, which amends the states’ constitution to recognize the medical use of marijuana. The law took effect on October 1, 2001. The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have “written documentation” from their physician that marijuana may alleviate his or her condition. Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; PTSD; and any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures, severe nausea or pain. Other conditions are subject to approval by the health division of the state Department of Human Resources. Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than seven marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. Patients who do not join the registry or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the “affirmative defense of medical necessity” if they are arrested on marijuana charges.
The medical use provisions in Nevada do not include reciprocity provisions protecting visitors from other medical use states.
Governor Brian Sandoval signed legislation, SB 374, on June 12, 2013, authorizing the creation of up to 66 medical marijuana dispensaries. Under the law, state regulators are tasked with overseeing the creation of licensed establishments to produce, test, and dispense cannabis and cannabis-infused products to authorized patients.
Senate Bill 374 imposes limits on the home cultivation of cannabis if patients reside within 25-miles of an operating dispensary. However, patients who are cultivating specific strains of cannabis not provided by a local dispensary may continue to engage in the home cultivation of such strains. Patients who have an established history of cultivating medical cannabis prior to July 1, 2013, also may continue to do so until March 31, 2016. The bill also amends possession limits from one-ounce to two and one-half ounces and increases plant cultivation limits from three mature plants to twelve.
Medical marijuana products dispensed by state-licensed facilities will be subject to standard state sales taxes as well as a four percent excise tax, of which 75 percent will be directed to education and 25 percent will be directed toward implementing and enforcing the regulations.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES: Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 453A.010 - 453A.240 (2008).
CAREGIVERS: Yes. Designated primary caregiver is a person who has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a person diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition. Caregiver does not include the attending physician. The caregiver must be 18 years of age or older. Patients may only have one designated primary caregiver. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§435A.080(1)(a), (2); 435A.250(2) (2008).
CONTACT INFORMATION: Application information for the Nevada medical marijuana registry is available by writing or calling:
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Nevada State Health Division
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, Nevada 89706