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Nevada's Cannabis Industry Continues to Surge Forward

Exciting Changes to Cannabis Regulation in Nevada: What You Need to Know

Nevada State Governor Joe Lombardo (R) has just signed four game-changing bills into law. These new legislations are set to revolutionize the cannabis industry in Nevada. Brace yourself for reduced penalties and fees, revamped sales tax regulations, increased personal possession limits, simplified licensing rules, and increased opportunities for individuals with prior felony convictions to enter the market. Stay ahead of the game by learning all about these groundbreaking changes.

SB 195: Streamlining Penalties and Fees for Cannabis Operators

SB 195, recently passed by the Nevada Cannabis Association, brings significant changes to address burdensome practices implemented by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (the "Board"). These changes aim to reduce economic burdens on operators while promoting compliance and collaboration. Cannabis operators are hopeful that SB 195, alongside other session changes, will bring more certainty and fairness to the disciplinary process.

  1. Reducing Civil Penalties: The maximum civil penalty that the Board can impose for a single violation is now capped at $20,000, a significant decrease from the previous maximum of $90,000.

  2. Preventing Violation Stacking: The Board must now consider certain conduct as a single alleged violation, rather than separate violations, based on the facts and circumstances. This prevents excessive penalties due to stacking violations.

  3. Transparent Billing Practices: The Board can only bill costs and charges that are expressly authorized by statute and eliminates the invoicing of "time and effort" for routine activities like inspections, audits, or non-application-based investigations.

  4. Considering Mitigating Circumstances: The Board must now consider mitigating circumstances in disciplinary matters. This includes factors such as whether the operator self-reported the violation, took corrective action, had a history of good faith efforts to avoid the violation, and cooperated during the investigation.

With these changes, SB 195 seeks to create a more transparent, fair, and supportive environment for cannabis operators in Nevada.

AB 430: Reforming Cannabis Sales Tax

AB 430 aims to improve the way wholesale excise tax is calculated for cannabis sales. Under this reform, the tax will now be applied to the first wholesale sale and will be calculated as 15% of the actual sales price in an arm’s length transaction. This is a departure from the previous method of basing the tax on the "fair market value" set by the Nevada Department of Taxation, which has been criticized for its flawed procedure and resulting inflated value.

While affiliates' transfers will still be subject to the "fair market value" calculation, supporters of AB 430 believe that this change will lead to a more reasonable and equitable wholesale tax structure.

SB 277: Streamlining Cannabis Licenses

SB 277 simplifies the licensing process for medical and adult-use cannabis by merging them into one license category, with exceptions for areas where adult use is not permitted. The bill also aligns the fee structure, ensuring that both medical and adult-use licenses are charged the same lower amount.

Furthermore, SB 277 introduces a new opportunity for individuals with "excluded felony offenses" to petition for permission to participate in the cannabis industry. The Board will evaluate each case, considering public health and safety, as well as the impact on the industry.

  1. Increased possession and purchase limits: The limit for cannabis has been doubled from 1 ounce to 2.5 ounces, and the limit for cannabis concentrates has also been doubled.

  2. Reduced fees: Initial licensing and renewal fees for adult-use cannabis have been lowered, with the exception of the initial issuance fee for a retail license, which remains at $20,000. Other categories have seen significant reductions, such as the initial application fee for a cultivation establishment being reduced from $30,000 to $3,000, and the renewal fee being reduced from $10,000 to $1,000.

  3. SB 277 aims to simplify the licensing process, reduce fees, and enhance access to the cannabis industry while ensuring public health and safety.

SB 328: Taking Action Against Unlicensed Cannabis Activities in Nevada

In an effort to crack down on unlicensed cannabis operations in Nevada, SB 328 mandates the adoption of regulations that investigate and penalize those engaging in such illegal activities.

Up until now, the Board responsible for overseeing Nevada's regulated cannabis industry had limited authority, only able to address licensed operators. But with the passing of SB 328, this will change.

  1. This legislation removes the Board's exemption from the Nevada Administrative Procedure Act, meaning that the Board will now be required to submit regulations for thorough review and revision. Additionally, in contested matters, the Board will be subject to adjudication procedures and judicial review.

  2. To enhance accountability, SB 328 also brings about changes to the Board's structure. It staggers the terms of Board members, limits the term of the Board Chair to two years, and transfers the authority to appoint and remove an Executive Director to the Governor.

  3. Supporters of SB 328 strongly believe that these changes will effectively reduce the number of illicit operators in the Nevada marketplace while safeguarding licensed operators and preserving market share.

Stay tuned as SB 328 paves the way for a more controlled and accountable cannabis industry in Nevada.


The passage of SB 195, AB 430, and SB 277 bring substantial changes to the Nevada cannabis industry. From reducing civil penalties to recalibrating wholesale taxes and introducing streamlined licensing processes, these bills are sure to bring more fairness and equity to an already competitive market. With the introduction of SB 328 as well, operators can now look forward to a more protected and regulated cannabis industry in Nevada.

All in all, these legislative efforts are promising signs for the future of cannabis in the Silver State. With Nevada taking a proactive approach to regulations and compliance, market players can now look forward to greater opportunities and growth. The sky's the limit when it comes to what this thriving industry can achieve for its citizens!

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