Washoe County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Washoe County?

Yes. The State of Nevada and Washoe County issue separate licenses to marijuana establishments. Before applying for a Washoe County marijuana establishment license, you must have obtained a registration certificate for medical marijuana or a marijuana license for recreational marijuana from the state.

Marijuana cultivation facilities cultivate, deliver, supply, or sell cannabis products and cannabis implements to other marijuana establishments. The facility may be licensed as a medical marijuana cultivation facility or an adult use marijuana cultivation facility. They are not open to the public. According to Title 56 Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 678B.510, all cultivation and production of cannabis in the facility must occur in a locked and enclosed area. The facility must be accessible only to the cannabis cultivation facility agents who are duly authorized.

Adults who are 21 years of age or older can legally grow marijuana plants at home for personal consumption, provided that there is no state-licensed cannabis retailer within 25 miles of their home. They can grow six (6) plants per individual but not more than 12 plants per household. Marijuana plants must be grown in a room, closet, greenhouse, or any enclosed area with a lock or security feature. The plants must be away from public view. The lot or property used to grow the cannabis plants must be owned by the grower, or the latter must have permission from the legal owner.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Washoe County?

Yes. A marijuana product manufacturing facility acquires, manufactures, delivers, supplies, or sells marijuana-infused products and edible marijuana products to marijuana retailers or medical marijuana dispensaries. They are not to sell their products directly to consumers. Like marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana manufacturing facilities are not open to the public.

The manufacturing facility shall ensure that marijuana products and ingredients are protected from cross-contamination. The establishment’s agents engaged in the extraction of concentrated cannabis or manufacturing of cannabis products shall keep their hands and exposed areas of their arms clean and sanitized.

Marijuana products, by-products, and other waste material shall be disposed of in a safe, sanitary, and secure manner. The disposed material shall be rendered unusable, protected from possession or ingestion by persons and animals, and not placed within the marijuana establishment’s exterior refuse containers.

It is required that all marijuana products are sold in child-proof packaging. Marijuana edibles such as brownies and cookies must be sold in an opaque and sealed container. Packaging cannot contain an image of an action figure, cartoon character, mascot, toy, or balloon to further protect children from getting hold of these products.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Washoe County?

Yes. The sale and purchase of adult use and medical marijuana are allowed in Washoe County. Retail marijuana stores and medical marijuana dispensaries deliver or sell marijuana products and related supplies to adults over 21 or patients and caregivers holding a valid Nevada medical marijuana ID.

Washoe County operates under a single marijuana establishment license process which means that a marijuana establishment may at the same time be a recreational marijuana retailer and a medical marijuana dispensary. However, in order for a retailer or dispensary to operate and continue its business, the establishment must retain its state license as a medical marijuana dispensary. The county approves the hours of operation of the retail marijuana store/medical dispensary. Generally, public access to the retailer/dispensary is from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM. The business license staff shall approve any changes to the time.

21-year-olds can legally buy one (1) ounce or ⅛ ounce of recreational marijuana concentrate from a retail store or dispensary. Public use of marijuana, even in hotels, is a misdemeanor. Its use must only be done in the confines of your home. It is illegal to consume marijuana in marijuana retailers/dispensaries.

The forms of cannabis products allowed in the state are marijuana plants and seeds, resins, compounds, salts, derivatives, edibles, ointments, and tinctures. Edibles infused with marijuana can take at least two hours to peak after eating or drinking it, and its effects differ from person to person.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Washoe County?

Yes. Marijuana retailers/dispensaries can deliver cannabis products to licensed marijuana establishments (except retail marijuana stores), registered patients with medical marijuana ID, designated caregivers, or eligible adults. The following licenses/permits are required for a retailer/dispensary to deliver marijuana products within Washoe County legally:

  1. Valid Nevada marijuana establishment certificate

  2. City licenses or permit

  3. Washoe County general business license

Marijuana products may be delivered directly to consumers by a cannabis retailer or medical cannabis dispensary subject to the provisions under NRS Chapter 453D and NAC Chapter 453D.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Washoe County

The Medical Marijuana Patient Cardholder Registry is administered by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). Title 56 Nevada Revised Statutes 678C, or the Medical Use of Cannabis, defines a registry ID as a document issued by the division that identifies an individual or designated primary caregiver who is exempted from state prosecution for engaging in the medical use of cannabis. It allows the patient or caregiver to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries according to the former’s prescribed amount. At any one time, the registered patient or caregiver shall not possess, deliver, or produce more than 2 ½ ounces of usable cannabis, 12 mature or immature cannabis plants, and a maximum allowable quantity of cannabis established by law.

To obtain a marijuana registry identification card, the patient must provide and/or submit the following requirements:

  • Patients information details (name, address, telephone number, date of birth)

  • Proof of residence in Nevada

  • Attending provider of health care certification affirming that:

    • The applicant has been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition

    • The use of medical cannabis mitigates the symptoms and effects of the condition

    • The attending provider has expounded the possible benefits and risks of using medical cannabis

    • The attending provider will keep the files and written documentation of the patient and shall provide this information to the division upon request.

A chronic or debilitating medical condition means:

  • Anxiety disorder

  • Autism spectrum disorder

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Anorexia nervosa

  • Cancer

  • Opioid dependence or addiction

  • Glaucoma

  • Medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces, for a particular patient, one or more of the following:

    • Cachexia

    • Muscle spasms

    • Spasms caused by multiple sclerosis

    • Seizures

    • Epilepsy

    • Nausea

    • Severe or chronic pain

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and any medical condition related to HIV

  • Neuropathic condition, regardless if such condition causes seizures

  • Any other chronic or debilitating condition regulated by the division

If the patient chooses to designate a primary caregiver who manages the well-being of an individual diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition, he must provide the caregiver’s information to the division. Similarly, at the patient’s election, he may give the name of his designated medical cannabis dispensary.

Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health

ATTN: Medical Marijuana Division

4126 Technology Way, Suite 100

Carson City, Nevada 89706

E-mail: MMRegistry@Health.nv.gov

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Washoe County?

The State of Nevada imposes a 15% excise tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana products calculated on its fair market value and a 6.85% sales tax on marijuana products against cultivation facilities, starting July 1, 2017. On the other hand, a 10% retail excise tax is imposed on the sale of recreational marijuana. However, medical marijuana sold to registered patients is not subject to excise taxes.

The Nevada Cannabis Tax Revenue for 2022 reported the collected taxes on the sale of recreational and medical marijuana for 2022 (fiscal year July 2021 to June 2022) in Washoe County. As for the wholesale cannabis excise taxes (15% on adult use and medical marijuana), Washoe County generated nearly $11 million. There was around $12 million in retail cannabis excise taxes (10% on adult use marijuana) collected for the same period. Lastly, the adult use retailers and medical dispensaries reported an estimated $127 million in taxable sales in the county.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Washoe County

On January 1, 2017, both adult use marijuana and medical marijuana use became legal in Nevada.

According to the FBI Crime Data Explorer, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office made more than 450 DUI arrests in 2016. The following year, the number of arrests decreased to over 400. Then, in 2018 and 2019, the number of DUI arrests declined further to nearly 310 and 270.

As for illegal possession of marijuana, in 2016, there were more than 100 arrests made by the sheriff. In 2017, around 50 apprehensions were reported in the county, and 26 arrests in 2018. By 2019, there were 30 arrests for the same unlawful act.

On the other hand, there were nearly 40 arrests for the illegal sale/manufacturing of marijuana in 2016. In the succeeding two years, 4 and 5 arrests were made for the same crime. In 2019, apprehensions for the unlawful sale/manufacturing of cannabis increased to over 40.

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