Young cannabis leaves under a grow op's LED growlights.

Rory Savatgy

Nevada Lawmakers Finalize Cannabis Taxes, MMJ Reforms

Lawmakers in Nevada are finalizing the rules under which the state’s recreational cannabis market will operate, passing a 10 percent sales tax on sales, and a 15 percent tax on both medical and recreational cannabis at cultivation, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. Legislators removed restrictions for medical cannabis applicants in the state, eliminating the requirement for background checks and cutting the medical card fee in half – from $100 to $50 – while allowing the cards to remain valid for two years instead of one.

Medical cannabis taxes will remain intact at 2 percent at production and the point of sale.

Gov. Brian Sandoval estimates that recreational cannabis taxes will bring in more than $60 million in state revenue over the next two years.

Sen. Julia Ratti sponsored the legislation to keep the medical cannabis taxes the same and reform the medical card rules. The measure also includes language to cap the licenses fees allowed to be imposed on the cannabis industry by municipalities at no more than 3 percent of the establishment’s gross revenue. Local governments statewide will also receive $5 million for their resource expenditure.

“What’s important is that you’re creating that delta between medical and recreational costs – it’s keeping the cost down for medical,” she said in the report.

However, despite the progress made on the taxation side, bills allowing public consumption, adding opioid addiction to the medical cannabis qualifying condition list, and allowing registered medical cannabis patients to buy firearms died in the legislature.

Additionally, lawmakers approved a measure allowing blood tests to determine whether drivers are under the influence of cannabis, using a 5 nanogram threshold, and labeling requirements. Recreational cannabis licensing under Early Start provisions approved by the state Tax Commission are set to begin July 1.

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