Will Recreational Marijuana Become Legal in Nevada in 2016?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

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In November 2016, Nevada voters can make the state the fifth state in the nation (plus D.C.) to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Experts predict a very close vote.

The Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative has been certified and will appear on the same November 8 ballot that Nevada voters will use to pick the next president.

If approved, the initiative would:

  • legalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for recreational use by people who are at least 21 years old;
  • license and regulate retailers, distributors, and suppliers;
  • tax marijuana sales and allocate revenue from those taxes to education
  • prohibit giving or selling marijuana to minors
  • prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana and
  • prohibit using marijuana in public.

As reported by the election information website Ballotpedia, the initiative would put the Nevada Department of Taxation in charge of issuing licenses to marijuana retailers, suppliers, testing facilities and distributors. The department would also establish qualifications for licensing and limit the total number of licenses issued. Marijuana business locations would be controlled and approved by local governments. However, the initiative would forbid marijuana businesses from operating near schools, childcare facilities, houses of worship or certain community facilities.

A 15 percent excise tax would be imposed on wholesale sales of marijuana. Nevada's current sales tax would apply to retail sales of marijuana.

Until and unless the Initiative is approved and until the date any new recreational marijuana law becomes effective, marijuana possession and distribution is still illegal in the state of Nevada. Whether that will be the case next year will be up to Nevada's voters.

If you have questions regarding marijuana laws in Nevada, please give one of our experienced Nevada criminal defense lawyers a call.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).


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