Nevada has finalized its rules for state marijuana businesses and its regime continues to make applicants jump through some serious hoops to operate in the Silver State. Not only is the license issuance fee $30,000 (on top of a $5,000 non-refundable fee just to apply), but applicants will only have a ten-day window to apply for their licenses, beginning on August 5 and ending on August 18.

More interestingly, Nevada will be using a point system for license applicants. The licensing requirements are basic enough under NRS 453A.328, including disclosure of finances, criminal history, operating plants, etc. These sort of requirements are no different than the other states in which our lawyers operate.

The devil with Nevada’s system though is in its details. Do not for a minute think that you are going to get a State license simply by providing the state with a one paragraph description of your business or just by checking some boxes on a government form. No, instead, you will need to provide the state with a comprehensive regulatory compliance package that will be assessed against a rigorous points system. We have said this before and will say it again: of all the states in which our cannabis attorneys are licensed and operate (Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Washington), Nevada has the most rigorous requirements and the toughest and most comprehensive application. By far.

The below sets out some of the suggested directions for dealing with Nevada’s long list of ways in which you can “score” points under its system.  Please realize that what’s set forth below is little more than the bare minimum of what will be required to score well under each section; we are of the view that much more should be provided than what we have set out below, but that “much more” is going to vary with each individual applicant, and therefore there’s is no point in our getting into more detail in this post.

You want to score as many points as you can and, under Nevada’s point system for determining licensing priority, an applicant can get a maximum of 250 points. It has yet to be determined how many points will be required to “win” a license. The below is some of what will be expected of you to score points, as per Friday’s Nevada’s Department of Health’s announcement:

1. Disclosure of your total financial resources, both liquid and illiquid.

How to meet this requirement:

Draft a financial plan that includes:

  • Financial statements showing your resources, both liquid and illiquid.
  • If you are relying on money from an owner, officer, or board member, or any other source, provide evidence that your source has unconditionally committed such money to your use in the event the State issues a medical marijuana establishment registration certificate to you and you obtain the necessary local government approvals to operate the establishment.
  • Proof that you have adequate money to cover all expenses and costs of the first year of operation.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 40 points

2. Descriptions of:

a. The previous experience of the persons proposed to be owners, officers or board members of the proposed medical marijuana establishment at operating other businesses or nonprofit organizations;

b. The educational achievements of the persons proposed to be owners, officers or board members of the proposed medical marijuana establishment; and

c. Any demonstrated knowledge or expertise on the part of the persons proposed to be owners, officers or board members of the proposed medical marijuana establishment with respect to the compassionate use of marijuana to treat medical conditions:

How to meet these requirements:

Develop an organizational chart showing all owners, officers and board members of the medical marijuana establishment, including percentage of ownership for each individual and a short description of the proposed organizational structure. You also will want to provide a long narrative description demonstrating the following:

  • Previous experience at operating other businesses or nonprofit organizations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge or expertise with respect to the compassionate use of marijuana to treat medical conditions.
  • A resume, including educational achievements, for each owner, officer, and board member.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 50 points

3. Answering whether the proposed location of the proposed medical marijuana establishment would be convenient to serve the needs of patients:

How to meet this requirement:

Provide evidence that you own the property on which the proposed medical marijuana establishment will be located or that you have the property owner’s written permission to operate your proposed medical marijuana establishment on that property, on a form prescribed by the State.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 20 points

4. Describe the likely impact of the proposed medical marijuana establishment on the community in which it will be located:

How to meet this requirement:

Draft a proposal demonstrating:

  • Your past experience working with government agencies and highlighting past community involvement.
  • The likely impact of your proposed medical marijuana establishment on the surrounding community.
  • The manner in which the proposed medical marijuana establishment will meet patient needs.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 20 points

5. Describe the adequacy of the size of the proposed medical marijuana establishment to serve patient needs:

How to meet this requirement:

Provide documentation concerning the adequacy of the size of the proposed medical marijuana establishment to serve patient needs of patients, including:

  • Building and Construction Plans with supporting details.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 20 points

6. Whether you have an integrated plan for the care, quality, and safekeeping of medical marijuana from seed to sale:

How to meet this requirement:

Documentation concerning the integrated plan of the proposed medical marijuana establishment for the care, quality and safekeeping of medical marijuana from seed to sale, including:

  • A plan for testing and verifying medical marijuana.
  • A transportation plan.
  • Procedures to ensure adequate security measures, including for building security.
  • Procedures to ensure adequate security, including measures for product security.

Provide evidence you have a plan to staff, educate, and manage the proposed medical marijuana establishment on a daily basis, including:

  • An operations manual that demonstrates compliance with applicable statutes and regulations.
  • An education plan which provides educational materials to the staff of the proposed establishment.
  • A plan to minimize the environmental impact of the proposed establishment.

Provide a plan which includes:

  • A description of the operating procedures for the electronic verification system of the proposed medical marijuana establishment for verifying medical marijuana cardholders.
  • A description of the inventory control system of the proposed medical marijuana establishment.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 75 points

7. The amount of taxes you or the proposed owners of the medical marijuana establishment have paid to, or other beneficial financial contributions made to, the State of Nevada or its political subdivisions:

How to meet this requirement:

Provide evidence of the amount of taxes paid to, or other beneficial financial contributions made to, the State of Nevada or its political subdivisions within the last five years.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 25 points

If you ever doubted otherwise, it should be clear from the above (which we must stress again are really only bare minimums) that Nevada’s high-priced licensing process is complex, legalistic, and time-consuming, and certainly not for those inexperienced with the cannabis industry. Just filling out the application will require extensive knowledge of land use requirements, environmental impacts, industry merit, patient needs, and regulatory compliance, among other things. And this does not even encompass the need to know local law compliance regimes and corresponding deadlines as they pop up in counties and cities around the State. Just by way of one example, if you want the required Clark County cannabis special use permit, you are already too late if you did not get your application into the County by the end of April.

If you have not already started laying the groundwork for your Nevada marijuana license, you better get moving soon as that ten-day window is fast approaching and there is a lot you will need to do between now and then.