The short answer is yes, it is legal to grow hemp in Nevada, if you qualify. If you do not qualify under the Nevada Marijuana Laws, and you intentionally grow hemp in Nevada, you could face charges for possession of marijuana for the purpose of use, possession of marijuana for the purpose of sale, the crime of selling marijuana and the crime of trafficking marijuana. So, if you want to keep out of jail, you will need to understand the information below.
How to Qualify to Legally Grow Hemp in Nevada
It is still illegal in Nevada to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, grow, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, propagate or process marijuana. (NRS 453A) The only way that you can legally grow hemp in Nevada is to qualify for the two following exceptions:
- Obtain a registration card to legally grow marijuana from the Nevada State Health Division; OR
- Qualify for a Nevada medical marijuana card and show that you (1) cannot get a marijuana through a dispensary because a dispensary is not able to provide marijuana to the card holder, (2) the card holder is unable to travel to the dispensary, OR (3) there is not a dispensary that is less than 25 miles from the card holder.
Below we will describe how to either obtain a registration card to grow marijuana or how to qualify for a medical marijuana card.
Obtain a Registration Card to Grow Marijuana
To get a registration card to grow marijuana in the state of Nevada you must submit an application to the Nevada State Health Division. The application to open a dispensary, production facility, cultivation facility or testing lab is the same. Here is the information that needs to be submitted:
- The name of the proposed establishment
- The physical address of the establishment
- Evidence of at least $250,000 in liquid assets to pay for expenses and compliance
- Evidence of the applicant’s ownership of property for the establishment or proof of permission to use an establishment for marijuana
- Name, address, birthdate, fingerprints and FBI background check of each owner, officer and board member
- Names, addresses and birthdates for every employee of the establishment
- Operating procedures manual for safety, security and inventory of the marijuana
- Operating procedures for the selling and delivering of marijuana
- A letter from local the local government entity showing compliance with local laws
There are actually only 10 days a year that Nevada will take applications for establishing a medical marijuana facility.
Obtain a Nevada Medical Marijuana Card
The first step in obtaining a medical marijuana card is to obtain a physician recommendation that you apply for the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program. Once your doctor has determined that you need medical marijuana, you will need to send a request to the Nevada State Health Division together with a check for $25.
The written request will need to include the following in formation:
- Address (where the application and card should be sent)
- Request a “Caregiver packet” if you have a caregiver
- Request “Minor release form” if filling out the application for a minor
Once you receive the application back in the mail, you and your doctor must carefully follow the instructions to qualify. If you are unable to fill out the application yourself because you are physically or mentally unable, you may have someone else sign for you as long as they are a legal guardian or have power of attorney.
After you mail back the completed application, it takes about 30 days to receive an approval or denial. If you receive an approval, you will receive a Registry Identification Card. It is similar in appearance to a driver’s license and it will serve as proof of your legal membership in the Nevada Medical Marijuana Program.
Please note that you cannot get a Nevada Medical Marijuana Card if you hold a Commercial Driver’s License from any state. Once you do qualify, it will only be legal to grow hemp in Nevada if you meet the exceptions listed above.
Penalties for Growing Marijuana in Nevada
It is very easy for Nevada law enforcement to find illegal marijuana growers in the state because of their use of satellite images showing marijuana greenhouses. They also monitor electricity usage throughout the state to find spikes that would be indicative of illegal marijuana growers’ use of indoor lighting. If you do get caught growing marijuana illegally, here is a list of the penalties that you could face.
Penalties for growing more than 12 plans that weigh less than 100 pounds:
- 1-4 Years in Nevada State Prison, AND
- Up to $5,000 fine, AND
- The cost of disposal and cleaning of the marijuana cultivation facility
Penalties for growing more than 100-2,000 pounds of marijuana:
- 1-5 years in Nevada State Prison, AND
- $25,000 in fines, AND
- Up to $10,000 in additional fines
Penalties for growing 2,000-10,000 pounds of marijuana:
- 2-10 years in Nevada State Prison, AND
- $50,000 in fines
Penalties for growing more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana:
- Life in Nevada State Prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years, AND
- $200,000 in fines
If Arrested When Not Legal to Grow Hemp in Nevada
If you are arrested for illegally growing hemp in Nevada, you are going to need qualified legal representation. Please call 702-912-4451 or click here to schedule a time to speak with someone about getting aggressive legal representation.
Matt Pfau is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau. Matt has a background in business consulting, estate planning, business start-ups and bankruptcy and is licensed to practice in both Nevada and California. A partner in the firm Parry & Pfau, he can be reached at 702-912-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.