Last Tuesday was a pivotal moment for Nevadans and marijuana advocates. Question 2, to regulate marijuana like alcohol, was passed by a 54% majority. This is certainly an exciting time for safe access advocates however, recreational won't be in effect for some time. We would like to set up reasonable expectations for recreational as it can potentially take until the middle of 2018 to fully initiate.
While on January 1st, 2017 marijuana will be fully decriminalized in Nevada, there is a 12 month period for legislation/regulation facilitation, followed by a 3 month period for applications, and then a 3 month period for approvals. There is hope that the process will be expedited, and there is even the possibility of adopting Oregon's approach; allowing for medical dispensaries to start dispensing to recreational patients within the first six months of 2017. There is a strong possibility that the legislation/regulation facilitation won't take the full 12 month allotment, but we still must take into consideration the potential for a lengthy initiation process.
With the passing of Question 2, many of our patients have been asking if the legislation will affect their rights as a Nevada Medical Marijuana patient. The short and sweet answer is recreational marijuana laws will not affect the current medical marijuana laws. However, it's important to note the many benefits that our medical marijuana patients will receive.
- Less taxation.The recreational marijuana excise tax is set to be 15%, meaning combined with the normal Nevada sales tax of 8.15%, recreational users will be looking at a tax rate of 23.15%. Medical Marijuana will remain at a 2% excise tax, for a total of 10.15% taxation.
- More medicine. The current recreational marijuana initiative limits recreational users to possession and purchase of an ounce of marijuana. Current medical marijuana laws allow for 2.5 ounces to be purchased every two weeks, enabling our patients access to more medicine.
- Immediate access. With a potential waiting period of 18 months, recreational users will likely have to wait until 2018 to purchase marijuana in a recreational dispensary. Our patients will continue to have safe access to their medicine.
- Lower age limitations. Unless given expressed parental and physician permission, the current age limitation for medical marijuana is 18 years of age. Recreational patients will be required to be 21 years of age or older.
- Keen focus on patient’s needs. While we absolutely back broader safe access for everyone, recreational marijuana will be focused on just that, recreational use. Medical marijuana dispensaries such as ourselves will continue to focus on their patient’s needs, and approach recommendations through a medical, and professional perspective.
Nevada’s medical marijuana patients will continue to receive their safe access and in addition, will also receive a number of benefits from maintaining their patient status. We are thrilled to see the public’s opinion continue to shift on marijuana and hope that Question 2 is one of many which will sweep the nation. Let’s work together to find the right medicine for you.
If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to us at (702) 778-7987 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.