Nevada legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but it was not until 2013 that the Nevada legislature enacted legislation allowing patients to access medicine at a dispensary. Nevadans and Nevada’s patients were surprised to learn how difficult it was to obtain a registry identification card (“patient card”), as dispensaries began to open in late 2015.

Nevadans were learning about the complicated multi-step process required to obtain a patient card, which would span well over a month or more. Fortunately, the industry, the DPBH, and legislators were willing to work together to find solutions to improve access. Below are just some examples of the improvements made to the application process.

  • Allow patients to obtain the application online, rather than by mail-in request.
  • Allow patients to submit the application online, rather than by mailing the application to the State’s office.
  • Allow patients to use a temporary authorization while the physical card is pending, rather than requiring the patient to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) to obtain the physical card first.
  • Mail the physical card to patients, rather than requiring them to go to the DMV.

Now, the application process is practically unrecognizable compared to just six months ago. Today, a patient can obtain a patient card without leaving their home, except for the requisite doctor visit, which is ideal for older patients or those who have difficulty running the errands many of us take for granted. Patients can obtain a patient card in one of three ways, outlined below.

  1. ELECTRONIC PROCESS THROUGH A DISPENSARY
    1. Visit one of the dispensaries that have volunteered to help patients through the electronic process to obtain the application. (Please check back for this list to be posted).
    2. Pay the $100 application fee at the dispensary.
    3. Visit a doctor to obtain a “physician recommendation” for medical marijuana. The dispensary may have a suggestion as to which doctors are familiar with the physician recommendation process.
    4. Return to the dispensary for help uploading your application.
    5. Access the patient application portal to view your “Letter of Approval,” approximately 1-2 days after submitting it. Continue to check for approval until the DPBH has processed your application.
    6. Use the temporary 60-day letter that the DPBH provides to you until you receive your patient card in the mail.
  1. DO-IT-YOURSELF ELECTRONIC PROCESS
    1. Visit https://mmportal.nv.gov online, create an account and click the link to “Register as Cardholder.”
    2. To being the application, the applicant must upload a scanned image of the driver’s license. A copy of the driver’s license will not work; the driver’s license itself must be saved as a JPG, PNG, or TIF in grayscale color in 300 DPI or greater.
    3. Follow the prompts. Once you have successfully registered, you will receive an email with the subject line “Successful State of Nevada Medical Marijuana Cardholder Registration.” However, you must still complete and submit an application before becoming a medical marijuana patient.
    4. You can complete most of the application on-line, but you will need to take the application (filled in with your personal information) to a doctor to obtain a physician recommendation.
    5. Once you fill out all the necessary application fields, an application will be created and an application number will be generated.
    6. Next, you will be prompted to pay the $100 in application fees.
    7. You will receive a message that your payment was either accepted or rejected.
    8. If payment was rejected, you will receive an invoice and you will not be able to submit your application electronically.
    9. If payment was successful, you will be able to upload your application documents once they are complete.
    10. For a more detailed list of steps please see the patient guidance overview available here.

  1. STATE APPLICATION PROCESS THROUGH A DISPENSARY (Note: This process is only temporarily available, so be sure to check with a dispensary to see if this office is still in operation).
    1. Visit one of the dispensaries that have signed up to assist patients through the application process listed at nvdispense.com.
    2. The dispensaries listed on the nvdispense.com website should be able to assist you in obtaining your application, filling it out and suggesting a doctor who is familiar with the patient card process, if your primary physician is not wiling to issue a “physician recommendation.”
    3. Obtain the Physician’s Recommendation and have the appropriate portion of the application notarized.
    4. Return to the dispensary, which will schedule an appointment for you at the DPBH’s Las Vegas application office.