Why Is Marijuana Now Legal in the State of Nevada?
The people of Nevada voted for and passed the legalization of marijuana. Nevada’s state constitution was changed. Legislators codified into law the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, NRS § 453D. NRS § 453D.020 declares that the changes occurred to advance the interest of public health and safety, to better focus state and local law enforcement resources on crimes involving violence and personal property, and to remove the cultivation and sale of marijuana from the domain of criminals. As a result, Marijuana is now regulated under a controlled system. Businesses selling marijuana are taxed, and revenue from marijuana is dedicated to public education and the enforcement of the regulations for marijuana.
How Is Marijuana Regulated?
Marijuana is regulated very similarly to alcohol. Marijuana is legal for persons 21 years of age or older. Selling or giving marijuana to persons under 21 years of age remains illegal, unless the recipient is permitted to possess marijuana pursuant to the medical use of marijuana. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal.
As to sales, marijuana may only be legally purchased from a licensed dispensary. Dispensary owners are subject to review by the State to ensure that the business owners and the business location are suitable to produce or sell marijuana. Cultivating, manufacturing, testing, transporting, and selling marijuana is all strictly controlled through state licensing and regulation.
What Are the Recreational Marijuana Licenses, and What Protections Do They Afford?
Licenses may be obtained for operating a retail marijuana store, a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a marijuana testing facility. A valid license may be obtained as a marijuana distributor. Also, it is lawful for an individual to act as an agent for these various marijuana stores or facilities or for a marijuana distributor.
Who Is in Charge of Applications for Licenses?
The Department of Taxation must approve or deny applications for licenses. As part of the licensing process, the Department will conduct a background check of each prospective owner, officer, and board member of a marijuana establishment license applicant.
What Is the Law on Applications for Licenses?
The Department of Taxation was legally required to begin accepting applications for marijuana establishments by January 1, 2018, which was 12 months after the effective date of the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. For first 18 months (meaning until June 2019), the Department is only accepting retail license applications which include licenses for retail marijuana stores, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and marijuana cultivation facilities from persons who already hold a medical marijuana establishment registration certificate.
Also, during the first 18 months, the Department will only issue marijuana distributor licenses to persons who already have a wholesale dealer license.
What Is the Time Table for the Department of Taxation to Approve or Reject an Application?
Upon receipt of a complete marijuana establishment license application, the Department of Taxation will, within 90 days, issue the appropriate license if the license application is approved. If the Department does not approve an application, it will send a notice of rejection setting forth the reasons why the Department did not approve the license application.
What Are the Requirements to Get an Application Approved?
The prospective marijuana establishment must submit an application in compliance with regulations adopted by the Department of Taxation and the application fee required.
The physical address where the proposed marijuana establishment will operate must be owned by the applicant, or the applicant must have the written permission of the property owner to operate the proposed marijuana establishment on that property.
The persons who are proposed to be owners, officers, or board members of the proposed marijuana establishment must not have been convicted of an excluded felony offense. They must not have served as an owner, officer, or board member for a medical marijuana establishment or a marijuana establishment that has had its registration certificate or license revoked.
What Are the Application and Licensing Fees?
Each applicant for a marijuana establishment license is required to pay a one-time application fee of $5000.
Annual licensing fees include and will not exceed the following:
Initial issuance of a license for a retail marijuana store: $20,000
Renewal license for a retail marijuana store: $6600
Initial issuance of a license for a marijuana cultivation facility: $30,000
Renewal license for a marijuana cultivation facility: $10,000
Initial issuance of a license for a marijuana product manufacturing facility: $10,000
Renewal license for a marijuana product manufacturing facility: $3300
Initial issuance of a license for a marijuana distributor: $15,000
Renewal license for a marijuana distributor: $5000
Initial issuance of a license for a marijuana testing facility: $15,000
Renewal license for a marijuana testing facility: $5000
What Are the Zoning Restrictions for a Prospective Marijuana Establishment?
A marijuana establishment must not be located within 1000 feet of a public or private school that provides formal education traditionally associated with preschool or kindergarten through grade 12 and that existed on the date on which the application for the proposed marijuana establishment was submitted to the Department of Taxation. It may not be located within 300 feet of a community facility that existed on the date on which the application for the proposed marijuana establishment was submitted to the Department.
How Will the Maximum Limit on Licenses Already Issued Affect an Application?
If the proposed marijuana establishment is a proposed retail marijuana store, there cannot be more than:
80 licenses issued in a county with a population greater than 700,000.
20 licenses issued in a county with a population that is more than 100,000 but less than 700,000.
4 licenses issued in a county with a population that is more than 55,000 but less than 100,000.
2 licenses issued in a county with a population that is less than 55,000.
This means that, for example, if an application applies in for a license to open a retail marijuana store in Clark County (Las Vegas), if the Department has already issued 80 licenses, the applicant will be denied. The above license totals are county wide, and can result in a license application being denied, even if the applicant meets every other requirement.
What Happens When Competing Applications Are Submitted for a Proposed Retail Marijuana Store within a Single County?
The Department of Taxation will conduct an impartial and numerically scored competitive bidding process to determine which application or applications among those competing will be approved.
When and for Whom Is the Next Round of Marijuana License Applications?
The Department of Taxation may open licensing to everyone after November 15, 2018. However, the Department has not determined if or when it will open a licensing period.
Currently, the Department of Taxation will accept applications only from existing medical marijuana cultivation, production, and dispensary certificate holders. For current facilities, all licenses, certificates, and fees must be current and paid in order to apply for any other additional license.
Applicants must pay a non-refundable $5000 application fee via cash, cashier’s checks, or money order.
The application period for current medical marijuana cultivation, production, and dispensary certificate holders will be for ten (10) business days. The application period opens at 8 a.m. on September 7, 2018. It closes at 5 p.m. on September 20, 2018.
And additional round of applications will be accepted between October 30, 2018 at 8 a.m. and November 13, 2018 at 5 p.m.
The application forms can be found here: TAX NV SITE