Nevada voters first approved the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act in 1998. The initiative passed again in 2000, which amended the state constitution to provide for legal access to medical cannabis. Nevada Assembly Bill 453 formally legalized medical cannabis in June of 2001. Since then, the state’s cannabis industry has been in flux and continues to grow and evolve.
Initiatives to legalize the adult use of cannabis in Nevada failed in 2002 and 2006. Colorado legalized the adult use of cannabis in 2012.
In Nevada, after years of rulemaking and the issuance of medical cannabis business licenses, Silver State Relief in Sparks became the first medical cannabis dispensary to open in the state on July 31 of 2015.
In 2016, Nevada voters approved the Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana. Since July 2017, anyone over 21 can purchase possess, and legally use cannabis. An adult can grow up to six plants if they live farther than 25 miles from a dispensary.
Since 2015, nearly 350 cannabis business licenses have been issued, both for medical and adult use. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and the Nevada Department of Taxation oversaw the medical and adult use systems until the summer of 2020 when regulation of cannabis in Nevada was transferred to the Cannabis Compliance Board or CCB.
Last legislative session Nevada lawmakers took two more big steps in regulating cannabis. Before AB400 was signed into law, many who used cannabis products and drove a motor vehicle within 48 hours of use were likely to exceed the per se blood level limit for Tetracanabidiol (THC), the psychoactive component in cannabis. Now, a DUI for cannabis is based on demonstrable impairment and not the amount of THC in the blood.
The passage of AB341 last session lays the groundwork for the CCB and stakeholders to issue licenses and develop regulations for cannabis consumption venues.
The Chamber of Cannabis is a non-profit organization based in Las Vegas and is working to build a more inclusive and prosperous industry. The organization was central in the development and passage of AB341, which includes groundbreaking social equity provisions to better help women and communities impacted by the War on Drugs’ own consumption venues.
To learn more about what Nevada’s cannabis future holds, we spoke with Tina Ulman and Dani Baranowski on the same phone call.
Tina Ulman is co-founder and president of the Chamber of Cannabis and the director of brands for the Source dispensary.
Dani Baranowski is co-founder and vice president of the Chamber of Cannabis. She is also the brand manager for City Trees, a vertically integrated cannabis company in Nevada.