Even though Nevada is home to two known “sin” cities, Las Vegas and Reno, it’s surprising that its marijuana cultivation rules are not as lax as expected. In fact, growing recreational marijuana in the Silver State is a bit more limited compared to other pro-cannabis states. Despite being one of the pioneering states in marijuana reform, a condition in Nevada marijuana laws disqualifies a significant number of residents from growing recreational marijuana at home.
However, home growing cannabis in Nevada is expected to rise since the state’s commercial cannabis industry is currently encountering difficulties due to the COVID pandemic. The Nevada Dispensary Association recently reported that stores across the state are struggling to cope with delivery-only purchases and this is causing a dramatic dive in sales. As a result, a number of dispensaries have already closed down. This is expected to have a direct impact on the number of homes eligible for home growing.
Let’s find out what exactly Nevada marijuana laws say about home cultivation and why home growing is directly affected by the location of dispensaries across the state.
This article was reviewed and updated for 2021.
Overview of Cannabis Growing Laws in Nevada
Nevada marijuana laws on home cultivation of recreational marijuana are very clear:
- Residents of legal age may grow up to 6 plants for recreational use if there are no state-licensed dispensaries within 25 miles of their home.
- The conditions for medical marijuana cardholders are the same, except that they may grow as many as 12 mature plants.
- Only a total of 12 recreational marijuana plants may be grown at a residence, even if there are more than two adults living there.
- The plants are to be cultivated in a secure place away from public view.
Because of the 25-mile rule, the number of residences eligible to cultivate will increase as dispensaries continue to close due to declining sales.
This was last updated in June 2020. We will be updating this guide with new developments that may come out.
Punishments for Violating Nevada Home Grow Laws
Growers who violate the 25-mile rule, grow at a location without the permission of the property owner, or in a space where the plants are publicly visible will get charged with a misdemeanor for the first violation punishable by a $600 fine. This can go up to a category E felony for the fourth and subsequent violations.
Nevada marijuana laws are not specific as to what the penalties are for growing more than 6 plants for recreational use. However, it is clear that growing more than 12 plants or less than 50 lbs of marijuana is considered a category E felony which gets 1 to 4 years in jail and a fine of up to $5000. Anything greater than 50 lbs is prosecuted as trafficking which carries harsher penalties.
History of marijuana in Nevada
The Silver State has always kept up with other states pioneering in marijuana reform. While Nevada joined in the cannabis ban during the prohibition wave in the ‘20s and ’30s, it was also one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis after California did so in 1996. However, the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act (Question 9) had to get a second approval as per state constitution which is why it only took effect in October 2001.
The state took another big step in that year by decriminalizing small amounts through state legislature. Under Assembly Bill 453, the possession of up to one ounce was reduced to a misdemeanor. This was punishable only by a fine for first and second-time offenders. Additionally, the violation would not go on record until the third offense. Prior to AB 453, Nevada was the only state that considered the possession of any amount a felony.
Two more legalization attempts were made in 2002 and 2006 after AB 453, but both were defeated. After these setbacks, however, recreational marijuana was finally approved in 2016 through the Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana (Question 2). Possession, consumption, and sales became legal in the state of Nevada a year after.
Growing recreational and medical marijuana in Nevada
As mentioned earlier, all Nevadans aged 21 and older who live outside the 25-mile radius of a dispensary may cultivate 6 marijuana plants for their recreational use, no special requirements needed. So, why do patients still need to register in Nevada’s medical marijuana program?
Here are several advantages only registered cardholders are entitled to:
- Possess up to 2.5 oz. Non-cardholders are only allowed up to 1 oz.
- Minor cardholders are allowed to use medical marijuana.
- Medical marijuana is not subject to a 10% tax.
- Patients may grow their own marijuana even if they are within 25 miles of a dispensary provided that they cannot travel due to their illness or lack of transportation, or the dispensary is unable to provide the right strain for the patient’s condition.
How to apply
Patients with qualifying conditions and their designated caregivers may apply to Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program via the MMCR online portal or they may download the necessary forms and send them along with the documentary requirements via the postal service. Applicants should have a healthcare provider prior to their application.
Applicants only need to complete the forms and submit them along with a scanned image of their driver’s license. Minors will need to use the Minor Child Request form but at present, all minor applications will have to be sent by mail. Once registered on the online portal, patients will have to add their caregiver’s information and scanned driver’s license or ID to their account. The registration fee is $50.00 for a 1-year term.
Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Nevada
How does Nevada’s marijuana laws compare with home growing laws in other US states? Check out our post on Marijuana Growing Laws in the United States.
FAQs about growing marijuana in Nevada
Yes, it is legal for Nevadans to cultivate recreational cannabis at home only if there are no state-licensed dispensaries within 25 miles of their home.
Residents of legal age may grow up to 6 cannabis plants for recreational use. Only a total of 12 recreational marijuana plants may be grown at a residence, even if there are more than two adults living there.
Yes, patients and their caregivers are allowed to grow their own marijuana even if they are within 25 miles of a dispensary, provided that they cannot travel due to their illness or lack of transportation, or the dispensary is unable to provide the right strain for the patient’s condition.
Registered patients in Nevada may grow as many as 12 plants at home for medical purposes, regardless of maturity.
On your property, in a locked space where the cannabis plants can be kept away from public view.
Residents must be at least 21 years old to recreational cannabis and at least 18 to cultivate medical marijuana at home in Nevada.
Even though Nevada is known for being the vice capital of the US, visitors and residents should not take an “anything goes” attitude when consuming, carrying, and cultivating marijuana. Like in other states where weed is legal, here are a few things to keep in mind when growing marijuana in Nevada:
- Never sell your marijuana, especially to minors.
- Grow your plants only in a secured area away from public view.
- Make sure your residence is not within 25 miles of a dispensary.
- Never consume in public.