Recreational Marijuana FAQ
Recreational Marijuana in Nevada FAQ
As of the November 2016 elections, Nevada has joined eight other states in legalizing both medical and retail (recreational) marijuana use. As of January 1st 2017, adults over the age of 21 will legally be allowed to possess up to one ounce of flower or 3.5 grams of concentrated cannabis.
While possession has been legalized, the implementation of retail sales will take some time to catch up. Medical dispensaries will go on with business as usual forcing retail customers to wait a little longer before being able to visit a dispensary and make purchases without a medical card.
The reason? The State of Nevada has to establish the legal framework, rules, and regulations before launching retail (recreational) sales. The 2017 Nevada Legislature will be venturing into uncharted waters, however State Senator Tick Segerbloom (who was led the implementation of medical marijuana legislation in 2013) believes everything should be in place by July 1st, 2017.
“Most people,” Segerbloom said, “think it’ll be legal to purchase [now], but unfortunately that’s not the case.”
Nevadans still face a lot of uncertainty surrounding marijuana use. We have compiled a few of the most frequently asked questions and provided our answers below to help dispel some of the myths and clear up any confusion.
Q: Can I purchase marijuana [legally] in other states and bring it home?
No, strictly speaking. It is still illegal to cross Nevada state lines with marijuana from Colorado or California, according to Segerbloom. 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.
Q: Can I enter or exit Nevada via plane carrying marijuana?
- Marijuana is still a federally prohibited drug. Due to lingering Nixon-era legislation it’s classified as a schedule 1 drug, along with heroin and mdma, more dangerous than cocaine and amphetamines.
According to Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez, however, the TSA is not actively searching for marijuana among airline passengers, because it does not pose a threat to security. “At the end of the day,” Melendez said, “it has no impact on our operations. If we find it, we’ll let police know. But it’s not something we’re in the business of searching for and not something we’re actively searching for.”
Melendez’s statement suggests that, if they happen to chance upon marijuana while you pass through airport security, they will have to alert police, but so long as you’re carrying under the legal amount and you don’t have the bag stapled to your breast pocket, you will theoretically be able to make it through.
Q: Once the dispensaries open, how will I be able to buy marijuana?
No special certificate from a doctor, officer of the state, or holy person is required. You simply must display a recognized document that states your age (driver’s license, passport, etc.) and you may walk in to any marijuana dispensary and buy yourself some product, just like at the liquor store. Keep in mind that, so long as marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, you will have to conduct all transactions in cash.
Q: Where will I be able to find these dispensaries?
This, according to Segerbloom, will vary by county. Clark County will issue up to 80 licenses for cultivation, dispensaries, and production facilities during the first 18 months. Washoe will issue 20 licenses, and counties with fewer than 55,000 residents will be able to issue no more than two licenses.
Just like the medical marijuana legislation in 2013, individual counties will be able to strike down the statewide law in their county with a local vote. Of Nevada’s 16 counties, twelve already ban medical marijuana, and there is little to suggest that they’ll allow recreational use. This does not, however, stop residents from obtaining marijuana outside the county and using it legally within, so long as they do so within the confines of their own property or inside a rented property where the owner allows it.
Q: Can I open a dispensary?
Within the first 18 months after recreational dispensaries open, only establishments that already hold a medical marijuana license will be able to sell recreational product. After this period, licenses will be available to the public.
The license application process and qualifications to obtain one have yet to be established by the state legislature. Segerbloom cites these unresolved questions as one of the biggest challenges they have yet to face.
Q: If I buy cannabis form a non-licensed dealer, can I still use it?
No and yes. You cannot legally buy marijuana from a non-licensed dealer or outside of the dispensary premises. Once you have the bud, however, police will not be able to ask you where you got it.
Q: Can I smoke anywhere?
- As of now, you can only smoke, eat, or ingest the drug within your own private residence. Consumption in public places such as parks, national forests, and urban spaces is still prohibited. You will not be able to smoke in restaurants or bars either.
Q: But can I eat edibles anywhere?
Technically no, you cannot eat edibles anywhere. But that said, there’s nothing stopping you from eating edibles at home and then heading out, and few if any will be able to detect them.
Q: Can I grow my own plants?
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.
Q: Let’s say I am a medical recipient of legal weed. Can I share it with other adults to use recreationally?
Under Nevada law, medical patients who share their medication risk losing their cards if found out. But under Ballot Question 2, anyone who manages to obtain marijuana can then use it legally.
Q: Is marijuana like an open container? Can I bring it in my car?
So long as you are not under its influence, you can drive with weed in your car, so long as its less than the legal limit.