by Tamara Meringolo, Master Herbalist & Holistic Health Practitioner
Nevada is one of eight states (along with Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington) and Washington D.C. to legalize recreational marijuana and the use of related marijuana paraphernalia. Medical Marijuana Patients and potential consumers are curious about the laws overseeing adult use of cannabis which are similar to alcohol in Nevada. All regulations must be in place and adopted by the end of 2017 to govern this budding industry. Until then, we have access to the full initiative text currently in force at: regulatemarijuanainnevada.org
This voter-approved initiative does not impact medical marijuana laws or affect patient rights.
Here are Q & A’s to help with some of the most common questions people have been asking:
Q: Who can legally purchase and consume cannabis in the state of Nevada for recreational use?
A: Anyone 21 years of age or older may do so. Consumers under the age of 21 may receive and possess recreational cannabis only if this person is permitted as per Nevada Medical Marijuana statutes (NRS.453A). Otherwise, giving or selling cannabis to someone under the age of 21 shall remain illegal. The cannabis you purchase from any state-licensed marijuana retailer is not allowed for resale to others.
Q: How much can I legally possess?
A: I want to give caution on this subject so people do not accidently exceed their limit. In articles on the Internet, I am reading people stating the limit is up to 1 ounce of flower AND/OR up to an eighth (3.5 grams) of concentrate, when the limit is stated as up to one ounce of flower OR up to 1/8 oz. of concentrate. In the link above, you can refer to the possession limits in the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, located in Section 6.1. In case you were wondering, concentrated marijuana is defined as the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana. This includes concentrated forms of cannabinoids such as kief, ice water hash, shatter, wax, etc.
Q: Where can I buy cannabis?
A: The Department has until the end of 2017 to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana cultivations, productions, and retail stores. There has been talk of expediting the process so recreational sales can begin as soon as possible, but as you may know, historically with opening medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada and recreational sales in other states, it can be a very long process, often with a year lag time after it became legal. There will be a 15% excise tax imposed on cultivation facilities and all state and local sales taxes will apply just like any other tangible product. Only state approved and licensed marijuana facilities can legally sell. Private sales are not allowed, but amounts under the established limit can be privately given among adult consumers, provided the transaction is not advertised or promoted to the public.
Q: What are the restrictions for personal use growing?
A: The initiative states you may cultivate recreational cannabis plants if your residence is not within 25 miles of an operational marijuana retailer. Adults over 21, are allowed 6 plants each, with a maximum of 12 plants per household. All plants must be growing out of public view such as in a secured greenhouse, closet, garage, etc., with restricted access. If you do not own the property you must have permission from the owner to cultivate.
Q: Can I sell my excess cannabis?
A: As previously stated, private sales are not allowed in Nevada. Only state approved and licensed facilities can sell cannabis products to one another, and only state-approved and licensed marijuana stores may sell directly to consumers. All adult market cannabis will be in child-resistant packaging, lab tested and labeled reflecting quality assurance test results for public safety.
Q: Now that the recreational use of cannabis is legal, can I still be fired from my job after testing positive for THC?
A: Yes, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act does not restrict employers from maintaining current company policies regarding the use of cannabis, or their ability to establish workplace restrictions on cannabis consumption by employees.
Q: Where can I consume cannabis without breaking the law?
A: Recreational use must be consumed in private settings. If you rent, you must get permission from the owner before consuming. Avoid public places like parks, bars, and public lands and never in a moving vehicle. Operating any vehicle (including aircraft and even sailboats) under the influence is against the law. What’s worse, the potential for hurting yourself or someone is just too risky. Just like alcohol, be responsible and do not operate a vehicle after consuming.
Q: Can I travel with cannabis?
A: Again, a word of caution here. One can accidentally cross a state line that is not well marked (i.e. around Lake Tahoe or over the river into Arizona). Carrying a Scheduled I drug like cannabis may be legal per Nevada state law but crossing over state lines is still federally illegal. Also, traveling by airplane involves being on federal property and flying in federal airspace which could potentially have you facing unwanted consequences.
Q: How does the adult cannabis market potentially benefit the future of Nevada?
A: The adult cannabis market is projected to create thousands of Nevada jobs and generate over 60,000,000 in annual tax revenue, in which approximately 20,000,000 annually will benefit Nevada schools. (stats provided by regulatemarijuanainnevada.org)
Tamara Meringolo worked for the NV Medical Marijuana Program ranking the medical marijuana establishment applications and as a Dispensary Manager in the Medical Marijuana Industry. She currently works in outreach services for Silver State Trading, producers of Clean Green Certified organic flower and Nevada’s only producer of Clean Green Certified organic concentrates. Tamara Meringolo is not a legal advisor. None of the above statements are meant to be deemed as legal advice.