Nevada Medical Marijuana Program

Legal Pot Sales for Health Purposes

Medical marijuana dispensary.
••• Medical marijuana dispensary. David McNew / Getty Images News

The state of Nevada has legalized the sale and use of marijuana and other cannabis products for both medical and recreational purposes. Many existing medical dispensaries are also licensed to sell marijuana to recreational users. The only legal place to consume marijuana whether for medical or recreational purposes is in a private residence, and drivers under the influence can be arrested. Consumption of cannabis in Nevada is for private use only and is not permitted anywhere in public or in a vehicle.

Residents of other states that allow medical marijuana use may purchase medical marijuana in Nevada by showing their valid out-of-state card.

Nevada's Medical Marijuana Program

Nevada's law for legally dispensing medical marijuana passed on April 1, 2014. The first dispensary opened in Las Vegas in August 2015, and as of June 2017, the state had approximately 60 certified medical marijuana dispensaries and nearly 28,000 medical cardholders. In June 2017, the Nevada legislature amended existing rules that make it easier for applicants to obtain a card permitting them to legally purchase marijuana products for medical use and instituted other changes in existing law.

As of July 1, 2017, medical marijuana dispensaries are prohibited from selling more than one ounce of marijuana in a single transaction, down from 2.5 ounces. However, registered medical marijuana cardholders age 21 or older are still permitted to have in their possession a total of 2.5 ounces in a 14-day period.

Current law also does away with the requirement that dispensaries track the purchases of customers to determine whether they have exceeded the legal limits for possession of marijuana for medical use.

Growing Medical Marijuana at Home

If you have a certified card permitting you to use marijuana for medical purposes, you can grow your own marijuana plants at home, but there are strict limitations.

Adults 21 and over can grow as many as 12 plants only if you live 25 miles or more from a licensed dispensary. The amount of your harvest is limited to the yield of no more than six plants. Plants must be grown in a secure enclosed area, such as a greenhouse with a locking door.

Marijuana Edibles Regulated by Law

As of July 2017, Nevada began to strictly regulate the sale of marijuana edible products for both recreational and medical use. For example, lollipops or any products that resemble brands marketed to children, such as those with images of cartoon characters or action figures are prohibited for sale. No medical marijuana product may be sold from vending machines. 

Applying to the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program

To obtain a medical marijuana card, Nevada citizens must have been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition as defined by law. Some of these include cancer, glaucoma, cachexia, seizures, severe nausea, severe pain, and persistent muscle spasms such as caused by multiple sclerosis. The applicant's physician must maintain written documentation of the diagnosis and need for medical marijuana, but that documentation no longer has to accompany the application; the physician need only provide it when requested by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The applicant must affirm on the application form that the requirements of written documentation have been met. The documentation is valid for a period of one or two years, depending on the type of certification granted. The maximum fee for issuing a registry identification card or a letter of approval is $50 per year, as of July 2017.

To obtain an application for the Medical Marijuana Program, send a written request, along with a check or money order for $25, payable to the Division of Public and Behavioral Health at:

4150 Technology Way, Suite 101
Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 687-7594

Written requests must include the applicant's name, mailing address, and caregiver information if applicable.