Nevada Eases Cannabis Licensing Red Tape

The law also permits recreational consumers to access medical-grade products.

A slew of changes to the Nevada cannabis industry, from possession limits to potency and licensing, went into effect Monday.

Under the new rules, the result of a bill signed into law last June, dispensaries serving both recreational and medicinal cannabis will require only a single license, instead of separate licenses for each side of the market.

The law also restricts the issuance or renewal of medical cannabis licenses, with exceptions only in areas that do not permit adult-use facilities. Additionally, medical cannabis consumers are exempt from the state excise tax at recreational retail outlets.

Retailers were also given more flexibility to operate with more than one entrance, and recreational consumers can get access to medical-grade marijuana products, a move that streamlines product availability across different consumer bases.

In addition, the measure raised the legal possession limit for cannabis from one ounce to 2.5 ounces. The legal limit for cannabis concentrates was raised from one-eighth of an ounce to one-quarter of an ounce.

Other measures from the bill text include:

  • An environmental provision that requires regulators to consider the potential environmental impact of any new industry rules, “and, if so, whether there are any methods to reduce or eliminate that adverse effect which would not impose an economic burden on the holders of an adult-use cannabis establishment license or medical cannabis establishment license.”
  • A social justice component that allows individuals with felony convictions to apply for an agent card through the Nevada Cannabis Control Board.
  • Reduced fees, including significant cuts to the initial issuance (from $30,000 to $3,000) and renewal fees for cultivation facility licenses (from $10,000 to $1,000).

“It’s going to cut down on some of that administrative burden for a lot of our operators, which are generally dual licensees to begin with,” Bri Padilla, executive director of the Las Vegas Chamber of Cannabis, said. “It made sense when we originally set up our structure so that we had separate licenses because we had medical first, then we had adult use. But now given the industry is up on its feet, I think it just makes sense to streamline that process.”

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson writes about the cannabis industry for the Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri Statehouse for the Columbia Missourian and has written for the Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter at @adam_sjackson and email him at adam.jackson@crain.com.


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