Nevada’s “early start” program received a lot of pushback that almost delayed recreational cannabis sales on July 1st, 2017 (Read the previous article). However, the judge did not agree with the liquor industry lawsuit and ruled against them. This ruling allowed Nevada to keep moving forward and as of midnight on July 1st, 2017 cannabis officially went recreational in the state of Nevada.

So What Does This Mean?

Anyone who is 21 years of age or older is able to legally consume or purchase recreational cannabis.

Anyone 18 years and older with a valid medical marijuana card can purchase cannabis legally in Nevada, even if the card has been issued from another state. Minors can also qualify for a medical card as long as a parent or guardian signs the minor release form and agrees to act as the child’s primary caregiver.

Here at DCN, we have been receiving quite a few emails regarding how to start a business in Nevada, please note we are not attorneys and suggest you speak directly with your legal counsel along with doing your own due diligence when looking to launch a cannabis business. However, in the meantime, we have put together a few facts and tips for you as you begin doing your research.

How can I get a license for a cannabis business, specifically dispensary, cultivation, etc.?

Under the new law, companies that already have medical marijuana licenses will be allowed to apply for recreational licenses. The state has not yet confirmed when they are opening the licensing period for potential entrepreneurs. However, they are required to finalize and establish these rules and licensing procedures by January 1, 2018.

If you currently do not have a medical marijuana license, the earliest someone can apply is June 2019.

Under the new regulations, enacted as of November 8, 2016, Nevada will be open for recreational marijuana businesses.

The regulations of this measure became effective January 1, 2017, have provisions for:

  • Retail marijuana stores
  • Marijuana product manufacturers
  • Marijuana cultivators
  • Marijuana testing facilities
  • Marijuana distributors

Process on opening a Marijuana retail store in Nevada:

The state allows retail marijuana stores to open in Nevada. You will need to review local municipalities as each county has the right to ban or place a moratorium on dispensary licenses.

Application fees are as follows:

Application fee $5,000

License for retail marijuana store – $20,000

You will need to do the following:  

  • Create your marijuana business plan
  • Set up your corporate structure  
  • Review available licensed areas with prospective cities and counties.
  • Finalize your potential location(s)
  • Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your retail store and be completely legal and compliant.
  • Install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations and then open your doors for business.
  • Contract with cultivators and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow and produce marijuana products for you, if you don’t want to do it yourself.

How To Grow/Cultivate Marijuana Legally in Nevada

Same as retail store steps above, the only difference is that you will be contracting with dispensaries, delivery services and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow marijuana for them.

The fees associated with the applications are as follows:

Application fee $5,000

License for marijuana cultivator – $30,000

How To Start a Marijuana Edibles, Marijuana Infused Products or Marijuana Extractions Business In Nevada

Same as Retail Store steps above, the only difference is that you will be contracting with dispensaries and delivery services to provide your products to customers as well as a contract with cultivators to grow marijuana for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

The fees associated with the applications are as follows:

Application fee $5,000

License for marijuana product manufacturer – $10,000

My company wants to provide goods and services to these cannabis businesses, how can I begin the process?

A business that provides goods or services to a medical marijuana cultivation, production, dispensing, or laboratory establishment is required to obtain and maintain a City of Las Vegas business license as a “Medical Marijuana Support Business” when at least 50% of the businesses annual revenue comes from licensed medical marijuana establishments. Click here to learn more.

Is There an Opportunity to Open a Cannabis Club?

A bill in discussions in Nevada could make it the first state to allow for cannabis clubs.

Senate Bill 236 would grant cities and counties authority to issue licenses to businesses wishing to allow cannabis use at their premises or to hold special events where cannabis use is permitted. Cities and counties would have the ability to establish an application process and create rules for these businesses. These businesses could not be located within 1,000 feet of a school or community facility, defined as a daycare, playground, public swimming pool, recreation center, place of worship, or drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility. Businesses could not allow consumption of marijuana in public view and could not allow individuals under 21 to enter the business or special event where marijuana is consumed. These licensed businesses could be the cannabis clubs that recreational states have been missing.

SB 236 passed the Nevada Senate by a 12-9 vote and now heads to the Assembly where it must pass in the same form it passed the Senate. If it does, it will then go to the Governor’s desk for signature and it would become law with his signature.

What about someone who is looking to work for a Medical Marijuana establishment in Nevada? You actually will have to qualify for the state.

Owners, officers, board members, employees, and volunteers all must receive an “agent registration card” from the Nevada State Health Division in order to work at a Nevada medical marijuana establishment.

The application for the agent card asks for the following information:

  • Name, address, date of birth, and social security number,
  • A pledge not to give medical marijuana to anyone not legally allowed to have it
  • Fingerprints and authorization to submit to an FBI background check

Prospective workers must fit all of the following requirements:

  • The applicant is over 21 years old.
  • The applicant is not in violation of a child support order, and
  • The applicant has no past convictions for drug felonies or violent felonies. (Violent felonies involve the use, threatened use, or substantial risk of using force against the person or property of another.) Note that this does not include convictions for which the case was closed at least ten (10) years ago.
  • The applicant never had a previous agent registration card revoked
  • The applicant has never previously been an owner, officer or board member of a medical marijuana establishment that had its registration revoked.

If the applicant does not hear back within 30 days, he/she is considered to have a conditionally valid agent registration card until further notice. Agent registration cards are good for one year and may be renewed upon application and acceptance.

Note that if an employee or volunteer stops working at a medical marijuana establishment, the Nevada State Health Division must be notified within 10 days.

Also note that owners, officers, and board members do not need to resubmit all their information in order to get an agent registration card as long as they already submitted their information in the original application to open a medical marijuana establishment.

Now, what about those of us who are planning on visiting Vegas over the Summer or this Winter for the MJBIZCON?

Below we have pulled together the top questions we have been receiving from our subscribers.

FAQ’s for Visitors and Residents

What dispensaries are now open?

There are 82 places in the state approved with over 40+ dispensaries now open, click here to see the full list of current establishments.

What kind of taxes will be added for recreational cannabis?

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has budgeted $69 million in revenue from the industry in the next two years. There is a 15% cultivation tax on all marijuana products in the state, and 10% tax will be collected from recreational marijuana upon sale. Cultivation tax will go towards school while the 10% sales tax will be put towards the state’s’ rainy day fund.  

Are there any purchasing limitations?

Recreational consumers are allowed to purchase up to one 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 and older (or their caregivers) can purchase up to 2.5 ounces worth of useable marijuana within a two-week period (14 days). This includes flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals — basically, anything containing cannabis that could get a person high. Currently, the definition of “usable” is being debated, as it’s an ambiguous term.

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 (which equals around 2.48 ounces of usable marijuana) within a 14-day period.

Although patients can shop at multiple dispensaries, purchases are tracked in real-time throughout the state to prevent purchases of more than 2.5 ounces every 14 days.

What kind of products will I be able to find at these dispensaries?

You will be able to purchase the typical Sativa and Indica Flower strains to start at $10-$30 per gram.

You will also be able to see products such as:

  • Concentrates essential oils of the cannabis plant. Warning: these can be very powerful!
  • Edibles: Cannabis infused foods, candies, or drinks. Warning: These can be very potent! Be sure to check the serving size before enjoying and remember the effects can take up to an hour to hit you.
  • Transdermal Products (Topicals): creams, lotions, massage oils and such infused with cannabis. These products are not psychoactive and will not get you high.
  • Seeds: Seeds that can be used to grow your marijuana plants. Stores will have many different strains of Indicas and Sativas.
  • Clones: healthy seedlings that are ready be grown.

Where can you consume?

Cannabis consumption is for private use only. It is illegal to smoke in public, on federal land or in a vehicle without risking a fine.

There are some hotels that allow tobacco smoke, but most will not permit marijuana use because of concerns regarding conflicting federal law. This is especially true of casinos that work hard to meet gaming regulations, which makes them less likely to want to “gamble” with federal marijuana law.

Although there has been some discussion about opening a few marijuana resorts on the Las Vegas Boulevard in the future. It’s always best to keep a low profile when consuming cannabis in Nevada.

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.

Are you planning on visiting Nevada and wondering if you can bring your cannabis home?

Unfortunately, the answer is a hard, no. It is still illegal to cross Nevada state lines with marijuana from Colorado or California. Once you’ve entered Nevada, however, police cannot make you answer where you bought the weed and, given the recent vote, would have little basis on which to charge you, so long as you’re carrying less than the legal amount.

Do you live in Nevada and wondering if you can grow your own cannabis?

If you live within 25 miles of a Las Vegas marijuana dispensary or Henderson NV dispensary, then no, you cannot. If, however, you do live further than this boundary, you are permitted to grow up to six plants per person and no more than twelve per household.

Interested in learning more?

The City of Las Vegas has established a web page: “Medical Marijuana Establishment Information” where interested persons may find information related to the City’s processes on business licensing, zoning, etc.

Clark County has established a webpage: “Medical Marijuana Establishment Information” where interested persons may find information related to County’s processes on business licensing, zoning, etc. n.aspx

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