Marijuana Laws in Nevada: Everything You Need to Know as a Tourist

Marijuana Laws in Nevada: Everything You Need to Know as a Tourist
With so many states beginning the legalization process of marijuana, find out marijuana laws in Nevada for recreational and medicinal purposes (Image by Rex Medlen from Pixabay).

Heading to Las Vegas on a wild party trip? Congratulations – you can now legally buy weed in Nevada as a tourist without any hassle from the cops.

With the introduction of legal recreational cannabis in Nevada in 2017, the doors have opened for visitors traveling to the state who want to try marijuana without possessing a marijuana medical card.

However, despite the boom of cannabis culture in the state, the laws are a bit complicated.

Buying marijuana legally is one thing, but the rules on where you can smoke it is another. Ready to learn about the marijuana laws in Nevada? Read on.

Who Can Smoke Marijuana in Nevada?

Legally, any individual over the age of 21 can purchase marijuana in Nevada for recreational use. Each person needs to bring with them a valid government-issued driver’s license, ID, or passport. It must not be expired and able to scan to prove it’s an authentic ID.

Those that are 18 years and older can purchase marijuana for medicinal uses as long as they hold a valid medical marijuana card. This card is valid even if issued from another state.

Minors under the age of 18 can also qualify for a medical card as long as a parent or guardian signs the Minor Release Form and acts as the minor’s primary caregiver.

Is It Worth Having a Marijuana Card?

As mentioned, it’s worth holding a marijuana card to purchase cannabis for medical needs if you’re under the age of 21.

Likewise, there are some more advantages to possessing a medical card to purchase marijuana.

Firstly, you can avoid a retail excise tax of around 10% charged to recreational sales. You also have a larger choice of products, including stronger varieties of marijuana.

If you’re wondering how to get hold of a medical marijuana card, you’ll need to have a consultation with your doctor about why you might medically benefit from the use of marijuana.

Common qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV, glaucoma, PTSD, cachexia, multiple sclerosis, seizures, severe nausea, or serious pain.

While any doctor can write a prescription, it doesn’t mean they will. After all, there are plenty of individuals who are seeking a way to purchase cheaper and stronger varieties of cannabis by blagging their way to obtaining a medical card.

Once the prescription is written, however, from there you can apply through a Nevada government website portal. To submit for your medical marijuana card, you’ll need to pay a registration fee of $50 for one year or $100 for two years.

As the process is timely and costly, unless you do require marijuana to assist with a medical condition, you’ll find that it may be worth sticking to recreational sales.

It’s not just people that can reap the medical benefits from cannabidiol either. CBD oil can benefit dogs by improving their central nervous system and reducing anxiety. So, if you’re wondering where to buy CBD oil for dogs check out Innovet’s special product line.

Where Can I Find a Dispensary?

There are tons of dispensaries in Nevada, with many found throughout the Southern part of the state. They’re pretty much everywhere but you’ll be surprised to discover they aren’t usually found on Las Vegas’s strip itself.

This is because there’s a law stating that venues must be outside the gaming corridor to own a dispensary, even if they aren’t in gaming. And most of this corridor spans a mile either side of the strip.

The exception to the rule is the industrial corridor. This is where dispensaries Planet 13 and Reef are placed, within easy walking distance from hotels such as Mirage, Wynn, and Palazzo.

Most of the time, buyers will need to hop in a taxi or ride-sharing car to reach dispensaries selling marijuana. However, once you do arrive, you’ll find that pretty much any dispensary sells marijuana for both recreational and medical use.

There are a couple of medical-only dispensaries, but these are usually found in rural areas.

How Much Can I Buy at a Dispensary?

When most people wonder – ‘Is marijuana legal in Nevada?’ they also think about how much cannabis they can purchase recreationally.

When buying recreationally, sales allow up to an ounce of cannabis or 1/8 of an ounce for concentrates including shatter, wax, crumble, and oils.

Medical sales, on the other hand, allow patients to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana product within a 14-day period.

Recreational sales aren’t tracked, but medical sales are.

Where Can I Smoke Marijuana?

Due to the relaxed purchasing laws, you could be forgiven for thinking that you can smoke marijuana pretty much anywhere in the state, including in public. However, legally smoking cannabis in public is a no go, even on Las Vegas’ wild strip. Although tourists do end up smoking marijuana publicly, this is an illegal practice.

Legally, consumption is only allowed in a private residence. There are no special consumption lounges or public spaces in the state where smoking, eating, or ingesting cannabis is allowed.

For local residents of Nevada, this isn’t so much a problem. But for the millions of tourists visiting Las Vegas and parts of Nevada each year, this is a frustrating catch-22 situation.

After all, they have the freedom to legally purchase cannabis but don’t have anywhere to enjoy it unless they know a local with a private home.

Most visitors stay in Las Vegas’ famous hotels, and these certainly don’t count as a private residence where tourists can smoke weed. Some hotels will charge up to a $2000 fine if you’re caught smoking in the venue – so it’s definitely not worth taking the risk.

Even if you’ve purchased cannabis without the intention of smoking it in your hotel room, avoid leaving your stash laying around. Housekeepers may assume you’re smoking it within the room and can report any cannabis they find. Hotels may also report you to the authorities if they wish to.

Even if you’re staying in an apartment or Air BNB, it’s likely that the owners or landlords will have rules against smoking marijuana.

There are a few smaller, non-gaming hotels off the main strip that allow smoking cannabis in select rooms or from balconies. We recommend calling a hotel or checking with your Air BNB provider to confirm their policies.

Can I Buy Marijuana in Nevada to Bring Home?

Many visitors to Nevada may wish to bring back home any marijuana they’ve purchased on vacation, whether as a souvenir, as a gift, or if they haven’t finished their stash.

However, unless home is somewhere else in the state, bringing back marijuana is a no-go.

This is because it’s strictly against federal law to carry marijuana across state lines. Unfortunately, this even includes going to another state where cannabis is legal.

So even if you’re driving between Nevada and California, it’s illegal to carry marijuana across the border even though recreational use is legal in both states.

What if you forget to dispose of your stash before traveling? At McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, there’s a ‘last chance’ disposal box to leave your leftover marijuana, no questions asked.

Remember, carrying marijuana beyond the TSA checkpoint at an airport is federally illegal, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve removed all traces before catching your flight.

Is There Any Way to Get Arrested for Possession?

Even though purchasing marijuana for recreational and medical use is legal in Nevada, there are still ways you can get arrested for possession.

If you’re caught buying cannabis on the black market, for example, that automatically counts as illegal possession.

Even if you do purchase from a genuine dispensary, you can still get in trouble if you’re in possession of more than one ounce of cannabis, or 2.5 ounces with a marijuana medical card.

As you can imagine, if you’re caught with more than 50 pounds of marijuana, you risk facing jail time or deportation if you’re not a US citizen.

Understanding Marijuana Laws in Nevada

So, if you’ve been wondering – ‘is weed legal in Nevada?’ the answer is yes! However, as we’ve outlined, it’s important to understand all about the marijuana laws in Nevada, as it may not be as simple and straightforward as you may imagine.

It’s certainly safe to say the state of Nevada has fully embraced the welcome of the cannabis industry for its medical and economic benefits.

Las Vegas as the party city it’s known to be, has put its own stamp on the cannabis culture, with tourists visiting far and wide to experience smoking legal cannabis in an exciting party environment. If you find the right venue to smoke it in, that is!

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