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High Rollin

How Nevada Pot Laws Compare To Colorado

By: Ganja Gazette Staff

Cannabis in Nevada, the basics.

Under Nevada law, adults 21 years of age and older can buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower, or an eighth of an ounce of concentrates. These products are available at dispensaries throughout the state. The state proved they could get processes and policies together quicker and with fewer bumps than Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. Of course, bumps (and even some significant divots) were expected in Colorado seeing as it was the first to embrace cannabis again after nearly a century of prohibition, but the question of whether there will be cultural differences between Colorado’s style of legalization and Nevada’s is being answered day by day.

Rules and Regulations, Nevada vs. Colorado

The rules regarding marijuana in Nevada are pretty straightforward. Users must be 21 and older with valid ID to purchase and possess weed. Driving under the influence is illegal—although roadside checking measures are not in place—and products must be consumed on private property. That means no hotels, casinos or even pot-friendly events. These rules and regulations are nearly across the board in all states with recreational and medical marijuana, including Colorado.


Of the states where recreational pot is legal, only Colorado is working on public consumption right now. This measure would allow businesses like yoga studios, to apply for permits. But Colorado is limited by indoor smoking bans, which Nevada is not. The thing holding Nevada back from public consumption of cannabis is the fact that regulators are watching Nevada with hawk eyes.

A bill proposing regulations for marijuana lounges died in Nevada’s 2017 legislative session, but advocates for the measure expect it can be worked out on the local level. Some estimate that the state is at least two years from enacting any public consumption laws because Nevada’s legislature doesn’t meet until 2019. But the tourism industry will force the issue.

If all goes well, lounges connected to dispensaries could open later this year. Just as there are strip clubs and casinos (essentially, clubs for gambling), so too would there be clubs to consume cannabis indoors.


Colorado has pulled in $506 million since retail marijuana sales began in January 2014.
The vast majority of which came from recreational sales but does includes medical marijuana, which was legalized years earlier. Most of the state’s revenue went to school construction projects, and an additional $5.7 million went to the Public School Fund. Smaller chunks were directed toward drug prevention and treatment programs and to the regulation of the cannabis industry.

Colorado concluded that at 30 percent, the tax rate did not dissuade the black market from operating and so they decreased it as of July 1, 2017. Medical marijuana sales remain taxed at 2.9 percent, while recreational marijuana is taxed more aggressively with an excise tax of 15 percent, a special sales tax of ten percent, on top of license and application fees.

By taxing recreational at about 34 percent—only lower than Washington by three points—Nevada projects $70 million in tax revenue will go toward state education in the next two years. It’s medical program, however, got immunity from recreational tax and will be taxed at just two percent to keep costs down for sick people.