Becoming a Patient in Nevada

To become a medical cannabis patient in Nevada, a person must be diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating condition and reside in Nevada. Patients must register with the state to receive protection from prosecution and may otherwise assert an affirmative defense in court. Registered patients may legally possess up to 2 ½ ounces in a single 14-day period which they must purchase through the state licensed distribution system of dispensaries. Patients without a dispensary in their county are exempted from this requirement and may cultivate up to 12 plants or designate a primary caregiver to assist them.

Age Limits

Both adults and minors may enroll as patients. The minor patient's custodial parent or guardian must sign a "minor release" form in their application, and that custodial parent or guardian must act as the minor's designated primary caregiver. See Applying to Become a Patient as a Minor for more information.

Qualifying Conditions

Individuals applying to become a patient must be diagnosed with one of the following debilitating conditions:

  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Cachexia (wasting and malnutrition associated with chronic disease)
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Seizures (including Epilepsy)
  • Severe Nausea
  • Severe Pain
  • Additional conditions specifically approved by the Department of Health and Human Services

Registration

Potential patients can apply to the Nevada Medical Marijuana Cardholder Registry by accessing the Online Cardholder Registry (https://mmportal.nv.gov/Account/Login). There is no charge for registering on the Online Cardholder Registry.

Applying to Become a Patient

You must fill out an Application Request Form (http://dpbh.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dpbh.nv.gov/content/Reg/MM-Patient-Cardholder-Registry/dta/Forms/Form_ApplicationRequest.pdf), and you may request a Caregiver Application as well, if you elect to designate a primary caregiver. You must submit this Application Request Form to the Division of Public and Behavioral Health along with:

  • $25 for the application request fee;
  • A copy of the front and back of your driver’s license or State ID; and
  • A copy of the front and back of your caretaker’s driver’s license or State ID (if you are designating a caretaker)

Once you receive your Application, you must submit:

  • A filled out Application;
  • Valid, written documentation from the patient’s attending physician stating:
    • The patient has been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition;
    • The medical use of marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of the condition; and
    • The attending physician has explained the possible risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana
    • The name, address and telephone number of the patient’s attending physician;
    • The name, address, telephone number, social security number and date of birth of the patient;
    • Proof of residency in the State of Nevada for the patient;
    • Caregiver application (if the patient elects to designate a primary caregiver), including:
      • The name, address, telephone number and social security number of the designated caregiver; and
      • A written and signed statement from the patient’s attending physician approving of the designation of the caregiver
      • $75 for the Application processing fee.

Applying to Become a Patient as a Minor

Minors that are at least 10 years of age may apply for a medical marijuana registration card. The minor’s custodial parent or legal guardian must provide a “minor release” form as part of the minor’s application, and must act as the minor’s designated primary caretaker.

For minors, the following must be submitted:

  • The materials listed under “Applying to Become a Patient”;
  • A written statement (“minor release” form) from the custodial parent or legal guardian of the minor stating:
    • The attending physician of the minor has explained to both the minor and the custodial parent/legal guardian of the possible risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana;
    • The custodial parent/legal guardian consents to the medical use of marijuana for the minor;
    • The custodial parent/legal guardian agrees to serve as the primary caretaker for the minor; and
    • The custodial parent/legal guardian agrees to control the acquisition, dosage, and frequency of use by the minor.

Limitations and Protections under the Law

Patients and caregivers are exempt from arrest and prosecution for conduct allowed under state law, such as purchasing and possessing medical cannabis acquired from a state-licensed dispensary. Patients who exceed possession amounts and/or do not participate in state-run registry are subject to prosecution, but are entitled to present a medical necessity defense in court.

 Possession, Growing, and Consumption Limitations

Patients and caregivers may obtain, possess, and administer medical cannabis acquired from a licensed dispensary under the law only if they fall into one or more of the following categories where the patient or their caregiver lack access to a dispensary:

  • The individual was legally growing or producing marijuana on or before July 1, 2013;
  • The dispensaries in their county closed or are unable to supply the quality/strain of marijuana that the patient needs;
  • Patients and their caregiver is unable to reasonably travel to a dispensary due to illness or lack of transportation; or
  • No dispensary is operating within 25 miles of the patient’s home when the patient first applied for a card.

Patients are allowed to possess up to 2 ½ ounces of medical cannabis in a single 14-day period. Individuals without access to a dispensary may cultivate medical cannabis for themselves or a patient in their care. The limit is seven plants (three of which may be mature).

Access to Medical Marijuana

Patients may only legally obtain cannabis from dispensaries licensed by the state. Patients without dispensary in their county may cultivate their own medical cannabis. See Possession, Growing, and Consumption Limitations for more information.

Caregivers

Caregivers must apply through the state through a process similar to the one for patients. Caregivers for a minor must complete an additional form.

 Housing/Employment/Child Custody/Organ Transplants Discrimination Protection

Nevada's medical marijuana law does not:

  • Require any insurance provider to pay or reimburse costs associated with medical use of marijuana;
  • Require an employer to allow use medical use of marijuana in the workplace;
    • However, an employer must attempt to make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of an employee who engages in medical use of marijuana if that employee holds a valid registry ID card, and the accommodation does not:
      • Post a threat of harm or danger to any person or property;
      • Impose an undue hardship on the employer; and
      • Prohibits the employee from fulfilling any of his or her job responsibilities
      • Prohibit a law enforcement agency from adopting policies that would stope an employee from engaging in medical use of marijuana; or
      • Provide other protections in the areas of housing, child custody, and organ transplants.

Reciprocity

Cardholders from other states may purchase medical cannabis from a licensed Nevada dispensary if:

  • The cardholder’s card is valid and non-expired;
  • The other states or jurisdictions exempt user from criminal prosecution for medical use of marijuana;
  • The other states or jurisdictions require cardholders to have seen a doctor prior to issuance of their card; and
  • The Nevada authorities must be able to verify the validity of the cardholder’s card by accessing a state database of registered users.

Most states do not recognize medical marijuana as a form a treatment, and certain states where use of medical marijuana is legal do not recognize cardholders from different states of jurisdictions. However, Nevada cardholders can use their registry card to buy cannabis from approved dispensaries in Michigan and Rhode Island. Nevada cardholders should check the laws of the appropriate state or jurisdiction prior to visiting or travelling through for possession limits and other restrictions.

More Information

Nevada Medical Marijuana Cardholders/Caregivers Program