According to NRS 453A.140, persons with a qualifying debilitating medical condition, with a valid Nevada Medical Marijuana Registry card are exempted from criminal laws of the state for engaging in the medical use of marijuana as justified to mitigate the symptoms or effects of the person’s debilitating medical condition.
As long as you follow the application procedure for the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program, you will almost definitely be granted membership if your physician found that you suffer from one or more of the following medical conditions:
Multiple sclerosis
Any condition that causes muscle spasms, seizures, severe nausea, severe pain, or cachexia (disease-caused weigh loss and malnutrition)
If your medical condition is not listed above but you believe it deserves protection under the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program, you may petition Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services by filling out and sending them this form. NRS 453A.050

Yes. Minors under eighteen (18) suffering from the chronic or debilitating diseases listed in question 6 are just as eligible for a Registry Identification Card as are adults suffering from the same ailments. The only difference is that the minor’s custodial parent or guardian must sign a “minor release” form in his/her application, and that custodial parent or guardian must act as the minor’s designated primary caregiver.

Yes. Each member of the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program can designate one (1) and only one primary caregiver to help administer the medical marijuana.

Your designated primary caregiver can be anybody over the age of eighteen (18) and approved by your physician. However, the designated primary caregiver cannot also be a medical marijuana user. And the designated primary caregiver may have only one (1) medical marijuana patient. (NRS 453A.080, NAC 453A.150)

It is always best to check with the state’s reciprocity laws that you are traveling to but we made a short list of the ones we found.In legal terms, reciprocity refers to one state’s recognition of the effect of another state’s law Remember it is a felony to cross state lines or to travel on air planes with your medication.

Medical Cannabis States with Reciprocity

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia permit some medical use of marijuana, although some are limited to cannabidiol (CBD), and not all programs are operational yet. Of those jurisdictions, only seven: Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada and Rhode Island, explicitly permit legal medical marijuana visitors to use their medications in state.

The situation is not clear in California, and the likelihood of prosecution in Colorado,Washington and Oregon, where recreational marijuana has been legalized, seems slim.

Even within these states, considerable variation exists as to what is permitted. If, for example, a patient legally uses marijuana to treat glaucoma at home, but glaucoma is not a condition for which it may be used in the state being visited, then the patient cannot use it, even if the visited state normally has medical marijuana reciprocity.

A patient may be permitted to use medication brought from home, but not to purchase the same thing from a dispensary. Nevada, on the other hand, has recently amended its medical marijuana statute to permit out-of-state patients to purchase marijuana at a dispensary on the basis of a sworn affidavit until 2016, after which date it will require cross-checking through a database that has yet to be developed. Michigan, in an apparent fit of pique, limits reciprocity to residents of only those states that extend the same privilege to Michiganders. It is chaotic, to say the least

Once you apply to the Nevada State Health Division for a medical marijuana card, you may possess medical marijuana in compliance with the program’s guidelines pending final approval. If law enforcement questions your right to possess the marijuana, present them with a copy of your application. (NRS 453A.210).

No, your membership lasts only one (1) year. If you think you will still require medical marijuana for longer than a year, you should reapply before the year is up. You go through the same application procedure as before, except that you do not need to resubmit fingerprints. (NAC 453A.130)

The most common grounds for the Nevada State Health Division to deny you membership into the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program are the following:

Screen-Shot-2015-03-23-at-9.52.32-AMProviding false or incomplete information on your application
Not providing proof of your qualifying medical condition
Not providing proof that you have consulted with your physician about using medical marijuana
If the physician backing your application is not licensed or not in good standing
If you are under eighteen (18) years old and your parent or guardian did not sign the required statement for your application
If you or your designated primary caregiver has ever been convicted of selling drugs
If you or your designated primary caregiver has ever possessed drugs in jail or delivered drugs to someone in jail
If you have failed to follow any other regulations mandated by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
If the Nevada State Health Division has ever previously prohibited you from ever obtaining a Registry Identification Card.
If you or your Caregiver have been convicted for felony drug trafficking of a controlled substance.
If my application to the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program is denied, may I reapply?

If your application to Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program is denied, you may reapply after six (6) months have passed since the date you were denied. But if your application was denied solely because it was incomplete, you may reapply right away. (NRS 453A.210)

If you are accepted into the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program but your membership is revoked, then you may not reapply for another twelve (12) months. (NRS 453A.225)

To increase your chances of being approved for medical marijuana, strongly consider using us to help you with your application.

Yes. The Nevada State Health Division maintains the confidentiality of all applicants to the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program, including the identity of the medical marijuana user, the user’s designated primary caregiver, and the user’s physician.

However, if state or local law enforcement ever questions your lawfulness in possessing medical marijuana, the Department of Health and Human Services may release your information to them to verify whether you are registered with the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program.

If you are accepted into the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program, you and your designated primary caregiver (if you have one) may possess up to two and one-half ounces of usable marijuana total in any 14-day period–you cannot each possess two and one-half ounces of marijuana. (NRS 453A.200) Usable marijuana usually refers to seeds, dried leaves and buds, or any kind that is immediately ready to be smoked. Usable marijuana does not include the stalks and roots of the plant. (NRS 453A.160)

If a dispensary is not available to sell you medical marijuana, you may be able to grow and cultivate your own with permission of the Nevada State Health Division. (See question below for more details). In that case, you and your caregiver may also together possess up to twelve marijuana plants irrespective of whether they are mature or immature. (NAC 453A.080)

Note that the patient and caregiver must keep the marijuana in a secure, enclosed location.

Also note that it is a category E felony in Nevada to possess more than 12 marijuana plants, carrying up to four years in prison and maybe a $5,000 fine. For a first offense, judges may impose probation instead.

It depends. Once a licensed medical marijuana dispensary opens in the county where a cardholder or his/her primary caregiver lives, they may not grow marijuana unless:

  • the dispensary is unable to supply enough marijuana to the cardholder, or
  • the cardholder is unable to reasonably travel to the dispensary due to illness or lack of transportation, or
  • there was no dispensary within 25 miles of where the cardholder lives at the time he/she applied for the card

It is a crime to intentionally grow weed in Nevada unless specifically permitted by the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program or Nevada Medical Marijuana Dispensary Laws. And depending on the circumstances, a person alleged to be cultivating marijuana in Nevada may face additional charges of:

Intentionally growing marijuana is illegal in Nevada unless specifically licensed to by the Nevada State Health Division.


1) Definition of growing marijuana in Nevada:

Nevada law prohibits people from knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, growing, planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying, propagating or processing marijuana. There are exceptions though; NRS 200A.200(6) carves out a few exceptions to this prohibition on growing your medicine.  If after a dispensary opens in your county of residence and you have a valid medical marijuana card or your caregiver, you may still be permitted to grow your 12 plants if:
You hold a registry identification card or your designated caregiver, and he or she was growing, cultivating or producing marijuana in accordance with chapter 453A on or before July 1, 2013.  This means you had a valid marijuana card on or before July 1, 2013 and you were growing in accordance with the law.  Growing prior to July 1, 2013 and while not having a valid card does not count.  This exception will expire March 31, 2016
You have a valid medical marijuana card or your designated caregiver and the dispensaries in your county close or are unable to supply the quantity or strain of marijuana necessary for the medical use to treat your specific medical condition;
Because your illness or lack of transportation and you hold a valid medical marijuana card and you and your caregiver are unable to reasonably travel to a medical marijuana dispensary; or
No medical marijuana dispensary was operating within 25 miles of the residence of a person who holds a medical marijuana card at the time the person first applied for his or her registry identification card.
Note that SB 447 which was recently signed by the governor clarified the exceptions by including a designated caregiver. However, it did not amend or change the exceptions. SB 447 did extend the first exception until April 1, 2018 (if you had a card by July 1, 2013).
Keep in mind that some of these exceptions may have to be proven in court if you are arrested, cited or charges have been filed against you, which can be costly and risky.  Furthermore, Nevada law on marijuana is constantly changing so you should always ensure you are compliant.
Nevada law enforcement often learn of illegal growers by satellite images showing greenhouses with marijuana, or unusual electricity usage indicative of a marijuana grower. When prosecuting marijuana cultivation cases, the D.A. often presents photographs of the plants and lab results confirming that the specimens are indeed marijuana.

2) Defenses for growing marijuana in Nevada:

The defenses available to defendants facing charges for growing marijuana in Nevada depend on the circumstances of the case. Some common strategies include:

  • Lack of intent: Cultivating marijuana is not illegal in Nevada if the person had no idea he/she was growing it. For example, a person with a wild marijuana plant growing in his/her background is committing no crime as long as he/she does not realize the plant is marijuana. If the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly or intentionally grew marijuana, the charges should be dropped.
  • Medical Marijuana: Cultivating marijuana is legal as long as it is done in accordance with Nevada Medical Marijuana laws. If the grower is a patient, he/she can cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants as long as he/she cannot reasonably get marijuana from a dispensary and has a valid Nevada medical marijuana card. And if the grower is a seller, he/she must have a valid registration card from the Nevada State Health Division. As long as the defendant can show Nevada Medical Marijuana Laws permitted them to cultivate marijuana, charges should be dismissed.
  • Entrapment: Although police may pose undercover for the purpose of catching a suspect in a criminal act, police may not trick suspects into committing offenses that they were not predisposed to commit otherwise. If the defense attorney can show that law enforcement entrapped the defendant to violate NRS 453.3393, then the charge should be dropped. Learn more about Nevada entrapment laws.


3) Penalties for growing marijuana in Nevada:

Growing, manufacturing, or otherwise processing more than 12 marijuana plants that weigh less than 100 pounds is a category E felony in Nevada. Note that it does not matter whether the plants are mature or immature.
For a first-time offense of violating NRS 453.3393, the judge may grant probation with no incarceration. However, the maximum sentence includes:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines, and
  • the cost of cleaning and disposing the marijuana and cultivation facility
Nevada judges may grant probation for a first-time offense of growing marijuana.
Nevada law is currently unclear as to the penalty for cultivating 12 marijuana plants or fewer, though presumably it carries similar or lesser penalties.2

Cultivating Marijuana as Trafficking in Nevada:

Meanwhile, growing marijuana plants that total 100 pounds or more is instead prosecuted as the more serious Nevada crime of trafficking marijuana.3 The penalties depend on the amount of marijuana grown:
Cultivating 100 pounds to less than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a category C felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • $25,000 in fines, and
  • maybe up to an additional $10,000 in fines

Cultivating 2,000 pounds to less than 10,000 pounds of marijuana is a category B felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 2 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • $50,000 in fines

Cultivating 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana is a category A felony in Nevada carrying a fine of up to $200,000, and:

  • life in Nevada State Prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years, or
  • 15 years in Nevada State Prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years