After a long legal battle Nevada’s medical marijuana patients have finally won the right to legally acquire their medicine. Thanks to state senators such as Tick Segerblom (D NV) and Mark Hutchinson (R NV), the Nevada Legislature passed SB 374 and on June 12, 2013, Governor Brian Sandoval signed the bill into law. Once the law takes affect, it will make sweeping changes to Nevada’s medical marijuana law including a provision that will allow for the state licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries and other marijuana related businesses. Nevertheless, possession, distribution or cultivation of marijuana is still illegal under federal law and is punished harshly.

Medical marijuana patients had previously been required to grow small amounts of marijuana for their own use. Unfortunately, this required extensive investment in equipment and often required renovations to patients homes. As a result many patients were unable to acquire their medicine legally.

Under the new law patients will be able to acquire their medicine at state licensed and regulated businesses. The new law describes medical marijuana businesses as “medical marijuana establishments” and will allow for four different types.

The Four Types of Medical Marijuana Establishments:

• Medical Marijuana Dispensary
• Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility • Medical Marijuana Edibles Facility
• Independent Testing Laboratory

At present the Division of Health and Human Services is promulgating the rules necessary to implement the changes to Nevada’s medical marijuana law, but we have provided a brief description of the law’s major provisions below.

Requirements for Opening a Medical Marijuana Establishment:

Individuals or groups wishing to open a medical marijuana establishment must be able to demonstrate the following:
  • That they control $250,000.00 in liquid assets
  • That no member or owner of the proposed establishment has prior convictions for certain felonies or for distribution of a controlled substance
  • That they have submitted all relevant fees (described below)
  • That physical address is located 1,000 feet from any school and 300 feet from any community facility such as religious institutions
  • Evidence that the applicant owns the proposed property where the establishment will be located, or that they have written notarized permission from the landlord to operate a medical marijuana establishment on the premises
  • Applicants must submit the name, address, date of birth and a complete set of fingerprints for each person who is proposed to be an owner or officer of the establishment
  • The name, address and date of birth of every proposed employee of volunteer of the establishment
  • Proposed policies and procedures consistent with the rules of the Division of Health and Human Services and with the new law
  • Each medical marijuana establishment must be located in a separate building or facility located in a commercial or industrial zone or overlay
  • Each medical marijuana establishment must comply with all state and local ordinances and rules pertaining to zoning, land use and signage
  • Each medical marijuana establishment shall have discreet signage consistent with traditional medical offices and pharmacies
  • Each medical marijuana establishment shall have a professional interior in the traditional style of medical offices and pharmacies
  • Each medical marijuana establishment must have one secure entrance, notwithstanding relevant fire codes

    In addition to the above, each medical marijuana establishment must follow very stringent regulations regarding the purchase, cultivation and production of edibles. All marijuana and marijuana products sold in dispensaries must be purchased from licensed medical marijuana establishments in the state of Nevada.

    Licensing Fees

    There will also be significant fees associated with opening a medical marijuana establishment. These fees are in addition to any fees relating to forming and registering a business or corporation with the Nevada Secretary of State and any local licensing fees. The fees for the separate types of establishments are as follows:

    Dispensary Licensing Fees:

    • $5,000.00 nonrefundable application fee • $30,000.00 initial licensing fee
    • $5,000.00 annual renewal fee

    Cultivation Facility Licensing Fees:

    • $5,000.00 nonrefundable application fee • $3,000.00 initial licensing fee
    • $1,000.00 annual renewal fee

    Edibles Production Facility Licensing Fees:

    • $5,000.00 nonrefundable application fee • $3,000.00 initial licensing fee

• $1,000.00 renewal fee

Independent Testing Laboratory Licensing Fees:

• $5,000.00 nonrefundable application fee • $5,000.00 initial licensing fee
• $3,000.00 annual renewal fee

In addition to the above fees each applicant for a medical marijuana establishment license must pay to the division the actual costs of processing the application including the costs of background checks. Licenses are nontransferable.

Additional Considerations:

In addition to the above fees and requirements each medical marijuana establishment will be heavily regulated. For example, all marijuana produced and sold in the state of Nevada must be strictly accounted for. The government essentially wants to track all marijuana produced from seed all the way to the consumer. Each facility must enact strict policies to ensure that all marijuana distributed to patients is accounted for to ensure that none of it is entering the illegal stream of commerce. Each facility must also utilize strict security measures including alarms and real time monitoring systems in order to track the marijuana. In sort, medical marijuana establishments will be subject to complex regulations and any violation will result in a loss of the establishments license. As a result we strongly recommend consulting with an attorney to ensure strict compliance with the regulations.

How to Apply for a License to Open a Marijuana Establishment:

The applications will become available when the Division of Health and Human Services announces the dates to apply. In the meantime we strongly suggest contacting our office to discuss your options and to prepare for submitting your application. There are many items that you must do prior to the application being submitted and those items will take time. Our attorneys are well versed in the new law and can help guide people looking to get into this business. Do not hesitate to call today – 702-750-9139.
Again it is important to understand that a person may still face prosecution under a litany of Federal Laws as the Federal Government does not recognize Nevada medical marijuana laws.


This form does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and you are not considered a client until a representation agreement has been signed and your case accepted.