The History of Cannabis in Nevada

09 Oct, 2020 - by | Nevada

Nevada’s Cannabis History and Future

The state of Nevada has a long, rich history with cannabis. Nevada was one of the first states to legalize both medical and adult-use cannabis and remains at the forefront of a rapidly progressing industry. 

Below, we’ve outlined a history of cannabis in Nevada and a few predictions for the future. Sit back, light that joint, and enjoy!

Medical Legalization

In 1998, Nevadans approved Question 9, the Nevada Medical Marijuana Act, making the state one of the first to legalize medical cannabis. In 2000, voters approved Question 9 a second time, which officially amended the state constitution. Nevadans diagnosed with one of the approved conditions and had a physician’s recommendation were legally allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis. Although Nevada’s initial passing of Question 9 made history, the Medical Marijuana Act did not include any legislation that addressed how approved patients would legally obtain their medical cannabis. It was not until 2013 that Nevada passed legislation that would allow medical cannabis dispensaries, in addition to increasing cultivation and possession limits. This law went into effect the following year.

Adult-Use Legalization

In 2016, along with California, Maine, and Massachusetts, Nevada voted to legalize adult-use cannabis. The law went into effect in 2017.

Cannabis Reform

Since the implementation of both a medical and an adult-use cannabis program, Nevada has passed more cannabis reform legislation. In June 2019, Nevada became the first state to ban pre-employment marijuana tests, and by June 2020, they had passed legislation to pardon more than 15,000 people with marijuana convictions.

Cannabis in Nevada Today

Cannabis in Nevada has come a long way since the state first voted to legalize medical cannabis in 2000. Nevada cannabis sales grew to $639 million in fiscal 2019. In 2020, dispensaries, considered an essential business, continue delivery operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July of this year, the state launched the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board, a regulatory agency set forth to make Nevada the “gold standard in the nation” for cannabis.

The Future of Cannabis

Since the first cannabis reform legislation in the U.S. got passed, the cannabis industry has continued to grow and change rapidly and remains a rapidly-changing industry.

As more and more states expand their cannabis legislation, leaders in different areas of the industry are focusing more of their attention on sustainability in the industry. The cultivation, growth, processing, and distribution of cannabis can have a significant environmental impact if sustainability measures are not implemented. The environmental factor of the cannabis industry has been used as an argument against further cannabis legalization in the past. More industry leaders have been making sustainability a priority and will continue to implement more sustainable practices in the future.

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