Nevada Cannabis Dispensary License

Getting a Nevada cannabis dispensary license is the first step to opening a cannabis dispensary business in Nevada. A cannabis dispensary is one of the most profitable businesses in the cannabis industry these days, in Nevada and all over the country. 


There are potential opportunities with sub-licensing from an existing license operator. 

Fill out our form, and let us know “you have future interest” and we’ll keep you in the loop when licenses become available again in Nevada.

In November 2016, the people of Nevada voted in favor of Question 2, the state’s Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana. This regulation has paved the way for the state to legalize the sale and use of cannabis. Among other things, this law has created new business opportunities.

If you are looking to open a cannabis dispensary in Nevada, you should know how to apply for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license. Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to this. 

Nevada Cannabis License Types

Below are the different types of licenses that Nevada would issue to those who plan on opening a cannabis-related business. 

Nevada Cannabis Cultivation License

Those who plan on opening a cultivation facility for cannabis should apply for a Nevada cannabis cultivation license. Holders of this license should agree to get their products tested. Once you have a license, you can sell your cultivated cannabis products to other companies such as manufacturing facilities, retail outlets, dispensaries, and other cultivation facilities. But you must not sell your cultivated products directly to consumers. 

  • Nevada Cannabis Distributor License

As a Nevada cannabis distributor license holder, you have every right to distribute your products to licensed dispensaries. You will also be allowed to transport your products to another establishment. For instance, you can transport a product from a cultivation facility to a dispensary. 

  • Nevada Cannabis Manufacturing License

If you want to get into manufacturing cannabis products, you need to acquire a Nevada cannabis manufacturing license. This license gives you the right to purchase, manufacture, process, and pack cannabis and any cannabis-related products. The license will also sell your cannabis products to another manufacturing facility as dispensaries. However, you cannot sell your manufactured items directly to consumers. 

  • Nevada Cannabis Dispensary License

 A cannabis dispensary is a retail store where cannabis products are being sold for recreational or medical use. But before you can operate a cannabis dispensary in Nevada, you need to have a Nevada cannabis dispensary license. In addition, cannabis dispensaries are not allowed to purchase cannabis or any cannabis-infused products from unauthorized sources. A cannabis dispensary is the only facility legally allowed to sell cannabis to consumers and patients holding a medical cannabis license. 

Nevada Cannabis Laws for Dispensaries

Medical cannabis patients and their caregivers and adults over the age of 21 can purchase cannabis from licensed retailers, also known as the Nevada cannabis dispensary. Recreational cannabis users will be charged with a 10% excise tax, and buyers cannot purchase more than one ounce of cannabis at a time. 

Medical Marijuana Program

The medical marijuana program of Nevada allows cardholders to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for medicinal use. To be eligible for the program, a licensed physician must first determine if the patient is suffering from the following conditions – cancer, AIDS, PTSD, severe pain or nausea, glaucoma, seizures, and persistent muscle spasms. 

Applying for a medical marijuana card can be done online. This card will be valid for 1 to 2 years. However, membership can be renewed. Cardholders and their designated caretakers should follow the rules regarding cannabis possession, consumption, and cultivation. Otherwise, they will face criminal charges.

Medical vs. Recreational Cannabis

Although the Nevada cannabis laws will now permit the purchase and possession of cannabis for recreational use, medical marijuana patients must still apply for the medical marijuana card due to the following reasons:

  • Holders of the medical marijuana card are allowed to possess 2.5 times more cannabis than recreational users, who are only allowed to possess 1 ounce.
  • Cannabis products purchased for medical use will not be subject to 10% tax, unlike recreational buyers.
  • Medical marijuana patients can purchase cannabis even if they are under 21 years old. However, recreational users should be at least 21 years old.
  • Cardholders can cultivate their cannabis plants if they are too sick to go to a cannabis dispensary or have no means to travel to the nearest dispensary. However, recreational users cannot cultivate their cannabis plants unless they live more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary. 

Nevada Cannabis Dispensary License Application

With more and more states legalizing cannabis, there will be plenty of opportunities to join this thriving industry. However, opening a cannabis dispensary in Nevada is not only about setting up your shop and opening your doors to customers. In this industry, getting a license is the most important step. With that said, here are some tips to opening your business and applying for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license.

  1. Prepare and Educate Yourself

The first step is to do your homework and make sure you fully understand Nevada’s local requirements and the cannabis laws that could impact your license application and business operations. For instance, if you cannot get local approval to open a dispensary in your municipality in Nevada, you may not operate your business. Here are some key questions to ask yourself before you start applying for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license:

  • Can you comply with Nevada’s laws for cannabis dispensary?
  • Do you meet the qualifications to apply for a license?
  • Will you have business partners? Do they meet the qualifications as well?
  • How much funding do you need to operate your cannabis dispensary and how can you get it?
  • What are the local rules and regulations? 
  • How much taxes do you need to pay?

If there are many questions that you cannot address in your research, it is best to hire a consultant who can help you set up your cannabis dispensary. The consultant can also help to evaluate whether or not you are ready to jump into the cannabis industry in Nevada.

  1. Write Your Business Plan

When starting any business, you must have a concrete business plan. Having a well-written business plan can also help to ensure that you will be taken seriously when you seek funding or apply for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license. 

When writing out your business plan, consider the Nevada cannabis laws and the local laws in the municipality where you plan to open the dispensary. A business consultant can help you in drafting your business plan. The cannabis industry is evolving rapidly, so it’s important to ensure that your cannabis dispensary is built on a solid foundation.

  1. Create a Budget and Financial Projections

You cannot get started with your cannabis dispensary business without any funding. You will need a sizable amount of money to acquire a Nevada cannabis dispensary license. For instance, license fees and application fees could cost thousands of dollars, so you need to be financially prepared for this. 

Develop a budget that will cover rental and leasing costs, employee salaries, utilities, supplies, and licensing costs. Work with a consultant who fully understands the cannabis industry of Nevada and can help you come up with a realistic financial projection for your cannabis dispensary.

Not only do you need a budget and financial projection to open your cannabis dispensary business, but you will also be required to submit this when applying for your license.

  1. Obtain Funding

Now that you have an idea of how much money you need to open your cannabis dispensary, it’s time to obtain funding. Traditional banks are not likely to loan you money since cannabis is still considered illegal at the federal level, so you may need to use your savings and investments. You can also get funding from friends and family and other investors who might be interested in helping you open up the business.

Another option is to partner with another entrepreneur. Since the options for cannabis business funding are still very limited, you have to get creative when acquiring funds to open up your dispensary.

  1. Look for a Suitable Location

Nevada requires that cannabis business applicants already have a secured location to build their businesses. This means that you need to look for a suitable location for your cannabis dispensary that meets the licensing requirements in Nevada. Make sure to get approval from the landlord or owner of the property you are leasing to use it to operate your cannabis dispensary. Above all, get approval from the local municipality where your cannabis dispensary is located.

Remember that some local municipalities will charge you additional fees to run your business. You might also need to obtain special permits and licenses. They will also levy additional taxes on your cannabis dispensary business. Therefore, you must do your research and ensure that the property you have chosen is a viable choice to open your cannabis dispensary before you submit your application for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license.

  1. Start Your License Application

After researching and preparing the application requirements, it’s time to send in your application for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license. Remember, this process would require applicants to wait for several months and spend thousands of dollars. To avoid any expensive mistakes, ask the help of consultants and industry experts.

The most important thing to remember when you apply for your license is, to be honest, and thorough. Explain everything in detail to prove that you have done enough planning and preparation to open your cannabis dispensary.

Application reviewers would want to know that your business can operate with no issues or delays that could jeopardize Nevada’s cannabis program if you are granted a license. Prove to them that you are confident in yourself and your business model. Some of the criteria that will be considered when evaluating your license application include the following:

  • Ability to operate
  • Architectural design and layout of the dispensary
  • Community benefit
  • Impact on the local economy
  • Financial standing
  • Geographic distribution
  • Infrastructure
  • Plan of operations
  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Real property and equipment
  • Sales and dispensing
  • Quality assurance and staffing
  • Security
  • Transportation and distribution

Nevada Cannabis Dispensary License Cost

A Nevada cannabis dispensary license can cost a lot of money. For the initial application fee alone, you can expect to spend around $5,000. Take note that this is not refundable in case your application is denied. For the initial licensure fee, expect to pay around $30,000, while the renewal for the annual license fee is $5,000.

Compared to many other industries, the application and licensing fees for the cannabis business in Nevada are especially high. Take note that these are only for your license fees. You also need to have enough money to secure the property, open up the dispensary and keep it up and running.  

Licensed Cannabis Dispensary Facilities

Consider working with an architect and interior designer that can help you with the final design, the aesthetic, and the overall layout of your cannabis dispensary. Cannabis dispensaries have unique features different from other retail operations, so you need to configure your space to accommodate the special requirements and save money in the long run. 

Choosing the right technology infrastructure for your cannabis store is very important. At the very least, you will need a reliable Wi-Fi connection, computer, POS, and inventory management system to run your dispensary. You’ll need a website and a social media page for your customers to find you easily. If you offer online ordering and delivery, you need to set up an eCommerce site.


The cannabis industry in Nevada is exciting and growing. However, there are challenges that you need to face when getting started. Having a strong business plan, enough funding and a well-written license application will have a higher chance of getting approved for a Nevada cannabis dispensary license. Hiring us as your cannabis license experts is a great way to get your business up and running fast. We know precisely what the state wants to see, and we’ll streamline the entire application process. We can even help with your business plan if necessary! If you’re ready to get your Nevada cannabis dispensary license, we’re here to help. Contact us and get started today.


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