Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Senate Bill 374, authorizing the creation of up to 66 not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries.
Under the new law, state regulators are tasked with overseeing the creation of licensed establishments to produce, test, and dispense cannabis and cannabis-infused products to authorized patients. Nevada voters enacted legislation in 2000 to allow for physician to authorize qualified patients to consume and grow cannabis. However, that law did provide for facilities where patients may obtain medicinal cannabis.
Approximately 3,800 Nevadans are presently authorized to grow and/or consume cannabis under state law.
Senate Bill 374 imposes limits on the home cultivation of cannabis if patients reside within 25-miles of an operating dispensary. However, patients who are cultivating specific strains of cannabis not provided by a local dispensary may continue to engage in the home cultivation of such strains. Patients who have an established history of cultivating medical cannabis prior to July 1, 2013, also may continue to do so.
Medical marijuana products dispensed by state-licensed facilities will be subject to standard state sales taxes as well as a 2 percent excise tax, of which 75 percent will be directed to education and 25 percent will be directed toward implementing and enforcing the regulations.
Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Maine, and New Mexico have state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries up and running. Similar dispensary outlets are in the process of opening in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC.