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Nevada Cannabis Laws Unveiled: A Comprehensive Legal Guide

Nevada Revised Statutes 453.553 are what dictate the cannabis laws in the state. While recreational consumption is legal, there are strict conditions that need to be followed. It’s important to be aware of these as a local and as a visitor to avoid any legal issues.

Let’s discuss what the laws are for consumption, trafficking, and selling, as well as the penalties, legal leniencies, and how to fight the charges. 


The Core of Nevada’s Cannabis Laws

Unlawful Possession of Marijuana

The recreational possession of marijuana is legal in Nevada, but it’s very tightly restricted. Only a person over the age of 21 can possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana in a private residence. If those conditions aren’t met, then it’s considered unlawful. 

Trafficking and Sale of Marijuana

Nevada criminalizes the trafficking and sale of marijuana with these conditions:

  • Possession of marijuana with intent to deliver is a category D felony punishable by up to four years in prison
  • Selling marijuana is a category B felony punishable by up to six years in prison
  • Trafficking marijuana of 50 pounds or more is punishable by up to life in prison

It’s only legal to purchase marijuana at a licensed dispensary. 

Cannabis Consumption in Public Places

Las Vegas Hotels and Vacations

In Nevada, it’s illegal to consume recreationally outside of a private residence.

The following are no exceptions:

  • Hotel rooms
  • Casinos
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Vehicles

Some hotels may label themselves as “cannabis-friendly”, but even if they do permit it on their premises, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be at risk of a citation or arrest by the police. 

Defining Marijuana Under Nevada Law

Components of the Marijuana Plant

The marijuana plant has a number of components, including:

  • Stems
  • Leaves
  • Seeds

All of these components are considered to be marijuana, and the laws need to be followed to reflect that. The only part that does not count as a component of a marijuana plant is sterilized seeds. 

Opportunities for Legal Leniency

Deferral of Marijuana Prosecution

Under certain circumstances, it is possible for defendants who plead guilty or no contest to certain crimes in Nevada to get their case dismissed and sealed. 

In order to do this, the defendant needs to plead guilty or no contest to the charge, and then the judge will defer judgment and set a date by which the defendant must complete their specified terms. 

These terms typically include: 

  • Restitution payments
  • Court cost payments
  • Community service hours
  • Other fines
  • Probation
  • A specialty court program

If the defendant completes everything successfully, the judge will dismiss the charge and seal the record. However, if the defendant breaks the law again, this case will count as a conviction for the purpose of setting bail or imposing penalties. 

Medical Marijuana in Nevada

Overview and Qualifications

Medical marijuana is allowed in the state of Nevada. In order to qualify, the patient must have a qualifying medical condition. They need to get approval and a medical marijuana card before they use or possess marijuana; otherwise, they will be in violation of the criminal marijuana laws. 

Legal Protections for Medical Marijuana Users

Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 453A is the law for Nevada’s medical marijuana program.

Some important aspects to know are: 

  • Authorized patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 12 marijuana plants
  • The number of dispensaries per county is limited by county population
  • A medical marijuana card begins with a doctor’s certification
  • The doctor must affirm that the patient has a qualifying medical condition
  • Any chronic, debilitating medical condition can qualify for certification
  • DUI laws still apply in the same manner as they apply to all drivers

With a valid medical marijuana card, the medical marijuana laws supersede the criminal marijuana laws in Nevada. However, some employers may still require a negative test for marijuana to secure their employment, and they can reject an applicant for this reason. 

Civil Penalties and Cannabis

Nevada Revised Statutes 453.553

Under Nevada Revised Statutes 453.553, the Nevada Attorney General is authorized to bring a claim for civil penalty against anyone who sells, manufactures, delivers, or possesses a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. In this case, it would apply to marijuana.

The fine for doing so is $350,000 for 1,000-2,000 pounds. The fine rises to one million dollars for more than 10,000 pounds. 

Building a Defense Against Marijuana Charges

Strategies and Considerations

Building a defense against marijuana charges relies heavily on what the charges are and the circumstances of the case. It’s essential to speak with an experienced attorney about the penalties you’re facing and how they can help fight the charges and minimize the consequences in your case. 

Talk to the Experts at Naqvi Injury Law

If you find yourself in a situation with marijuana charges, don’t take any risks. Reach out to our experienced team at Naqvi Injury Law right away. They will help you understand and navigate the different penalties and charges, as well as ensure that you are in an excellent position to receive the minimal consequences possible. 

Naqvi Injury Law boasts the  “top one percent” of attorneys recognized by The National Association of Distinguished Council. You can rest assured that our knowledgeable attorneys are extremely dedicated to providing you with the support that you need and delivering the best results possible. 

Call or Schedule a Free Consultation with the team at Naqvi Injury Law today!