In a Major Shakedown, Nevada Assesses its Marijuana Laws

Modified on February 3, 2021
Originally published on April 7, 2017

Nevada Assesses its Cannabis Laws

Nevada marijuana legislative bills

Marijuana lovers in Nevada should take note of the many different legislative bills that have been cleared for tabling on the Assembly floor. The Department of Taxation has its task cut out in preparing regulations that will govern the industry. The lawmakers are working hard at coming up with laws that will control and simultaneously promote the fledgling industry of recreational marijuana. Bills that gathered a majority of positive votes will move on to the senate or the Assembly floor. Bills that relate to taxation in the state can go in for a vote later. The bills that have been cleared will still have to be okayed by the governor, where there is always a chance that he may veto it.

Here’s how the bills have fared thus far.

S.B. 228 DEAD

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services had introduced this bill that would have given registered nurses and social workers the right to prescribe marijuana to those suffering from opioid addiction. As of now, only physicians can prescribe marijuana for helping in the treatment of AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain, and nausea.


This bill would have opened up bars, hotels, and restaurants for public consumption of weed. Local government would have the powers to issue the relevant permits. Businesses would have the option of applying for a temporary or permanent permits. Incorporated areas would come under the authority of city governments while the county boards of commissioners would govern permit issuance in unincorporated areas.


The bill proposes an early start program for the use of recreational marijuana in Nevada. The EARLY START would act as a catalyst for fast tracking the legal availability of marijuana by allowing dispensaries to begin selling the product immediately. The bill proposes a higher tax for marijuana; it will do away with the 2% wholesale tax and replace it with a 5% state tax on medical marijuana that will be added on at the point of sale. There will also be a 15% state tax on the sale of recreational marijuana; this will also be calculated at the time of sale.


This bill focuses on research in the field of medical marijuana. It adds PTSD to the list of conditions that currently allow a person to purchase marijuana for a medical condition. The bill also proposes that non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries be allowed to accept marijuana donations. If this bill becomes law, then all medical marijuana facilities will have video security that law agencies will be able to access in real time. The bill would allow anyone who can prescribe drugs to also recommend marijuana. Vets with PTSD and terminal conditions will be allowed to apply for permanent medical marijuana registration cards. The medical marijuana program would come under the jurisdiction of Department of Taxation and not stay with the Department of Health and Human Services.


This bill elaborates on how the income from the sales of medical marijuana can be used for government costs, education, and disseminating information on consuming marijuana safely. The bill seeks a ceiling on the tax that a county or city may impose on any institution dealing in marijuana. If this bill becomes law, then counties and incorporated cities will not be able to enforce requirements unrelated to zoning laws.


Bill 344 proposes to further strengthen existing Nevada laws so that all marijuana products are packaged such that these do not appeal to children. If this bill becomes law, manufacturers will no longer be able to add sugar to edible marijuana products except baked goods. Also, marketing using cartoons, mascots, action figures and such things that appeal to children will be illegal. It will be illegal to create products shaped like gummy bears and such products that are popular with children.

S.B. 351 DEAD

This bill fizzled out because the National Rifle Association did not extend its support to it. The bill proposed that medical marijuana patients be allowed conceal and carry permit, which they are currently denied. In fact, if a person is found to be a medical marijuana cardholder, then even an existing permit becomes invalid.


This bill seeks to protect professionals from workplace harassment simply because they are in favor of legal recreational marijuana. The bill proposes a prohibition of disciplinary action by a professional licensing board against a professional who is legally associated with marijuana in any capacity. It also proscribes disciplinary action against an employee for holding an opinion on cannabis.


This bill proposes collaboration between the state and tribes that have voted in favor of legal marijuana. Marijuana will be cultivated on tribal lands and the operations will be regulated under the same laws that restrict state operations. The operations would have to conform to health, security, and taxation laws that govern other businesses licensed by the state.

S.B 378 DEAD

Another bill that bites the dust because the idea was simply too radical. It proposed a sealing of records of those with earlier convictions for carrying less than one ounce of cannabis. It proposed a saliva test by law enforcement agencies for testing drivers thought to be under the influence of cannabis.

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