Contrary to the old adage, not everything that happens in Vegas stays there. Even though recreational cannabis is legal in Nevada, there are still some very real consequences for visitors and locals that break laws related to cannabis consumption. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Nevada Cannabis Laws, whether you are a local or a visitor. For example, what happens if you get caught with edibles in Las Vegas? Before we answer that question, let’s break down the basics.
Cannabis Consumption in Legal in Nevada
It has been legal to purchase cannabis in Nevada since July 2017. As a result, anyone 21 years of age or older may purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower, or one-eighth of an ounce of either edibles or cannabis concentrates per visit. But that’s it. In other words, you may legally possess one ounce of cannabis or 1/8th ounce of other cannabis products.
However, possession of more than one ounce is still a felony under Nevada state law. Additionally, it is still illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or possess cannabis unless they have a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana cardholders may purchase up to two and one-half ounces every two weeks.
Nevada is unique in that unlike some other states, Nevada dispensaries sell both recreational and medical cannabis from the same inventory. Medical marijuana cardholders are sometimes eligible for discounts between ten and twenty percent.
So, What Happens If You Get Caught With Edibles?
All that sounds pretty straightforward, right? Where things start to get a bit more complicated are the laws around legal consumption. Cannabis may only be consumed in private homes, including yards and porches. It is prohibited for use in casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, concerts, and on other federal properties including natural forest and federally subsidized housing. And yes, unfortunately, this includes Burning Man. So don’t get confused about Nevada’s laws and the Federal Government’s laws. Jurisdiction is important to keep in mind.
While it would be easy to assume that Casinos would be favorable to cannabis consumption since they serve alcohol and allow for cigarette smoking, this is not the case. State gambling regulators have directed Nevada casinos to abide by federal laws, which still outlaw cannabis. Getting caught using cannabis in public, especially edibles could cost you. First offenders for public cannabis consumption can expect at least a $600 ticket.
Edibles and Public Intoxication in Vegas
While edibles are a more discreet way to consume cannabis than smoking, because they leave no lingering aroma, there are several important factors to keep in mind. While public intoxication is not a crime in the state, Nevada law treats alcohol abuse as a health problem. Therefore, if a person is under the influence in a public place in Nevada, and is unable to care for their own health and safety, or is threatening the health and safety of others, a police officer must take that person into custody. The officer is supposed to transport the person to a treatment center, if that’s not possible they can be held in jail for up to 48 hours without being formally under arrest.
So in essence, if you smoke or consume edibles in private, but then go out in public, you can be detained if you’re perceived as acting dangerously to yourself or others, even if you haven’t committed any other crime. This is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to edibles, especially if you are a novice when it comes to cannabis consumption.
Edibles Aren’t Like Flower
Edibles have a different effect than smoking, which includes a delayed onset. The intoxicating effects may be delayed for two hours or more. A classic rookie mistake is to accidentally overdose on cannabis edibles because the user was too impatient waiting for the first dose to kick in and took more than was necessary.
Nevada law requires that cannabis edibles approved for legal recreational sale contain no more than 100mg per product, and they are normally portioned into 10 mg servings. This is supposed to help Nevada cannabis users determine dosages without having to guess what the outcome will be. And it’s a great idea. However, some users that are exceptionally sensitive to the effects of THC may want to start with an even smaller dose than 10mg.
Treat it the same way you would alcohol. We all know that a shot is the proper “dose” or “servicing” of hard alcohol. But that doesn’t mean people will be smart about it. You buy a whole chocolate bar but it comes with 10 doses. You buy a bottle of vodka and it comes with 17. Keep that in mind. You’re the only one who can determine how much of something is right for you. And if you take too many shots or too many servings of cannabis, expect negative results.
It is always recommended that you follow the recommended dosage guidelines on the packaging and to start low and go slow when ingesting edibles. Ingesting too much THC can cause feelings of paranoia, panic attacks, high levels of anxiety, rapid heart rate, difficulty conversing, poor coordination, high or low blood pressure, nausea or vomiting, memory problems, and even hallucinations. Needless to say, cannabis edibles are not something to be cavalier with, they should be used responsibly, and with caution.
Driving on Edibles
Another really important law to be mindful of is the fact that driving under the influence of cannabis is considered as serious an offense as driving while drunk in the eyes of Nevada law. The penalties for driving while impaired from cannabis can be severe. These include anywhere from 2 days to 6 months of jail time, community service, fines, suspended driver’s license, or court-ordered completion of DUI school.
And let me just say, if anyone is thinking about driving on edibles, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?” Personally, my experiences with cannabis edibles stray far from that classic cannabis high and are much more intense. For anyone who has experience with other psychoactive substances, I feel that edibles ride that line… and sometimes bust right through it. I would never recommend that anyone drive while intoxicated, on anything. If I tried to drive high, it would be a disaster. And driving on edibles… YIPE! No Bueno.
Given this scenario, do not consume cannabis before driving. Also, remember that your car is not considered private property when it comes to cannabis laws. It is if you are parked, but when you are driving, you’re considered to be in public and if you are driving erratically or seen smoking, prepare to be pulled over. If you are smoking in your own vehicle on casino property, for example, you are still considered to be on casino property. Not worth it.
Cannabis in the Car
In the event that you are stopped by law enforcement, a vehicle search can be triggered if the officers see or smell any cannabis residue or material via visual inspection. So don’t smoke in your car and don’t leave pipes or bongs in plain sight. For goodness sake, don’t drive high! However, if you are pulled over, as long as you are not under the influence of cannabis, and there is less than an ounce of cannabis purchased from a licensed dispensary in a sealed container that is away from the driver and any minor passengers, then no laws have been broken.
Also, keep your cannabis in a sealed container. Additionally, keeping it in the trunk of your vehicle helps abide by this law. This is a similar practice to buying and transporting alcohol in your vehicle. Furthermore, locking up your cannabis in a suitcase or briefcase will give you added protection. Law enforcement will be required to obtain a warrant in order to break the lock and search your private property. This will give you time to call a lawyer if necessary. Again, as long as you aren’t impaired or violating any other laws, the police will likely stop engaging with you and let you go free.
Visitors and Vacationers
Vegas is a huge tourist destination. The whole city is practically set up for visitors and vacationers. And now with cannabis legalization, a whole new group of people travel to our state just so they can experience the legal cannabis market. After all, there are still only a handful of states that allow legal, recreational cannabis consumption. It’s a novelty, just the same way that many states don’t allow 24-hour long drinking. Vegas is a crazy place. We all know it. That’s why we’re here.
But what happens if you get caught with edibles and you’re not a resident? Luckily, you’re just fine as long as you’re following all other laws and not causing problems in public. You will be able to purchase edibles and consume them just like anyone else in Nevada. However, just like when you visit any new location, make sure to familiarize yourself with the laws. You’ll find that things are pretty chill here in Vegas as long as you aren’t a huge pain or you’re just a fall-down miserable wreck in public.
If you are coming from out of town it can be helpful if you have local friends who are willing to share their private residence as a safe place to indulge and relax. Make sure that you have a designated driver, or call a rideshare like UBER or LYFT if you plan to return to your hotel after indulging. Some private vacation rentals allow cannabis consumption. However, it is important to check with the property owner first. Never assume. Remember, your hotel room does not count as a private residence!
New Things on the Horizon
While the Nevada laws around where you can legally consume cannabis can feel restricting for tourists that want to experience legal recreational cannabis, there are some exciting changes coming to Nevada in the fall of 2021. Assembly bill #341, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Yeager, will allow dispensaries to apply for on-site consumption licenses as well as develop standalone cannabis consumption lounges. In essence, it would be a bar. However, it’s cannabis that’s being served and consumed instead of alcohol.
The rules for these establishments are still being written. Regulators will define the types of cannabis products that will be allowed in the lounges. However, the bill makes it legal to smoke cannabis on the premises or consume single-serving THC-infused edibles and beverages. These establishments won’t be serving alcohol. On the other hand, live entertainment will be allowed. And that’s going to be a lot of fun!
In an interview with Forbes magazine, Assemblyman Yeager described a future in which there will be more creative concepts for businesses that allow cannabis consumption including cannabis-serving comedy clubs, toke-friendly yoga studios, and high-end restaurants that infuse their dishes with THC. Whatever the future holds for Nevada Cannabis, you know Vegas will put a unique spin on it in a way that only Vegas can.
Knowing is Half the Battle
Now that you know the laws, you know how to consume legal Nevada Cannabis lawfully, safely, and responsibly. But let’s recap the most important do’s and don’t to remember when consuming cannabis and cannabis edibles in Las Vegas.
Remember that the only way to legally purchase cannabis is from a state-licensed dispensary or retail establishment. While it is legal for people to gift each other cannabis, it is not legal for them to sell it to you. It is also not legal to buy cannabis grown by medical patients for recreational use. You can get both get in trouble if you do.
Do be sure to bring a federal ID such as a driver’s license or passport to prove you are at least 21 years of age. Don’t try to get around this any more than you would for alcohol. It’s not worth it. You may also bring out-of-state medical marijuana cards but they are not a substitute for ID.
For Good Measure…
Next, when it comes to rentals that aren’t your own, check with the owners of any vacation properties before consuming cannabis on the premises. Additionally, be careful about smoking in your hotel room, or consume edibles while out in public places such as the strip or on the casino floor. However, keep your eyes out for legal cannabis consumption lounges that will be opening within the next year.
Make sure you have a designated driver if you are under the influence of cannabis. Don’t drive under the influence, smoke while driving, or have possession of cannabis in reach of the driver, minors, or in an unsealed container. This can get you in some SERIOUS trouble. You may be looking at jail time, loss of your license, and possibly loss of your children if you endanger them. Don’t risk it!
Finally, don’t overindulge with the edibles. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a run-in with the police or the emergency room. Make sure all your Vegas memories are happy ones. And remember. Unless you’re doing something else that’s illegal, you should be fine. You’ll be good to go have more fun and enjoy the freedom to consume cannabis as nature intended. Have fun out there and be safe!
About OMG THC
We’re homegrown in Las Vegas, Nevada. We embrace niches others in the Cannabis market ignore or reject. Vegan? Diabetic? Gourmet cook? Old-school hash connoisseur? Looking for a specific ratio of CBD and THC in your products? You got it!
Additionally, we care about quality and the effects our products have on people’s lives & health. OMG THC use only CO2 and ethanol extraction methods. We NEVER use butane or other petrochemicals to extract our oils. We want our products to be easy on the body and safe for our team to make.
Our products are simple and they are great. From the cannabis oils, we use to the packaging and the varieties of our products. Finally, and best of all, our edibles are damn delicious! In other words, if we wouldn’t want to eat them, we aren’t going to sell them to anyone else. We NEVER cut our concentrates with anything – period! EVER! We use top-of-the-line C-Cell hardware – always. We ensure quality and purity.
For Adult Use Only
For adults 21 and over. Keep our products out of reach of children and pets. Be smart. Be Vigilant. Finally, enjoy our products responsibly and keep everyone safe.
As always, feel free to Contact OMG THC with any questions or comments you might have. We’re here for you and we’re responsive to your needs. If you’d like to locate OMG THC products, check out our dispensaries list. You can also find out more about OMG THC on Leafly.