Nevada marijuana laws are complex. Possession of a small amount of recreational marijuana is legal but with restrictions. Nevada also employs a medical marijuana system. The sale and distribution of marijuana is illegal for citizens. You may be confused about the specific laws in place for marijuana use within the state. The Las Vegas attorneys at Adam S. Kutner & Associates explain Nevada marijuana laws.
Is Marijuana Legal in Nevada?
Yes, marijuana is legal in Nevada, but only in limited quantities and with significant restrictions. Adults over the age of 21 may have marijuana in a private residence. It’s not legal to smoke anywhere in public. The only place that it’s legal to purchase cannabis is from a licensed dispensary.
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 453 – Controlled Substances Act
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 453  is the Nevada Controlled Substances Act. The law covers the unlawful use, possession, and distribution of marijuana. Under Nevada law, a person over 21 years of age may possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana in a private residence.
Nevada Revised Statutes 453.336 (NRS 453.336) – Unlawful Possession of Marijuana
Nevada Revised Statutes 453.336  criminalizes possession of marijuana in Nevada. It is a category E felony to possess more than one ounce of marijuana without any intent to sell or distribute. For a first or second offense, possession of marijuana is a category E felony. A third offense is a category D felony.
Trafficking Marijuana, Sale of Marijuana
Nevada law criminalizes the trafficking or sale of marijuana as follows:
- 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
Marijuana Laws Las Vegas Hotels and Vacations
It’s not legal to smoke marijuana in a Las Vegas hotel room. It’s not legal to smoke on The Strip, either. The only place that it’s lawful to smoke marijuana is in a private residence. There currently isn’t a way to legally smoke marijuana on your Las Vegas vacation.
Nevada Revised Statutes 453.096 (NRS 453.096) Definition of Marijuana
Nevada law 453.096  defines marijuana for the purposes of the controlled substances act. Any of the following parts of the plant are part of the definition of marijuana, including:
- Concentrated cannabis
Hemps or sterilized seeds are not marijuana if they are incapable of germination. The definition of marijuana under NRS 453.096 is important because if you’re facing marijuana charges, the amount that you’re accused of having can significantly impact the severity of the charges.
Nevada Revised Statutes 453.3363 (NRS 453.3363) – Deferral of Marijuana Prosecution
If you’re facing charges of marijuana use or possession, you may qualify to take advantage of a marijuana diversion program under Nevada Revised Statutes 453.3363 . To participate in the deferral program, you plead guilty to the offense with the understanding that your plea is under NRS 453.3363.
The court places you on probation. During your term of probation, you undergo a course of education and treatment. If you complete your probation successfully, the court dismisses your case without a conviction. To qualify for the deferral program, you may not have had any prior conviction for a drug or marijuana offense.
Does Nevada Have Medical Marijuana?
Yes, Nevada has medical marijuana. In fact, if someone is legally authorized to grow or possess marijuana under Nevada’s medical marijuana laws, the traditional marijuana laws don’t apply. However, to qualify to have medical marijuana, a patient must have a qualifying medical condition. They must get approval and a medical marijuana card ahead of time before they use or possess marijuana. Without a valid card, they may be in violation of Nevada’s criminal marijuana laws.
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 453A – (NRS 453A.010) Medical Marijuana
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 453A (NRS 453A.010)  is the law for Nevada’s medical marijuana program. There are several important parts of the law that you need to know to use marijuana lawfully:
- 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
When someone has a valid medical marijuana card, Nevada law 453A.010 supersedes Nevada’s criminal marijuana laws. However, certain employers may still reject an applicant for a positive marijuana test. For example, employers of firefighters, police officers, and workers in the transportation industry may still require a negative test for marijuana to secure or maintain employment.
Nevada Revised Statutes 453.553 (NRS 453.553) – Marijuana Civil Penalties
Nevada Revised Statutes 453.553  authorizes the Nevada Attorney General to bring a claim for civil penalty against anyone who sells, manufactures, delivers, or possesses a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. NRS 453.553 applies to marijuana. The legal action is a civil action that is separate from and in addition to criminal penalties, including fines. For possession, manufacture, or delivery of marijuana, the fine is $350,000 for 1,000-2,000 pounds. The fine rises to one million dollars for more than 10,000 pounds.
How to Fight Marijuana Charges in Nevada
How to fight marijuana charges in Nevada depends on the exact charges that you’re facing. Legal exposure for marijuana charges varies greatly depending on the exact charge. It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney about what penalties you’re facing and what you can do to fight the charges and minimize the consequences in your case.
 NRS Chapter 453
 NRS 453.336
 NRS 453.096
 NRS 453.3363
 NRS 453A.010
 NRS 453.553