New Legislation Prohibits Home Extraction of Concentrated Cannabis Oil
“There is a slow but steady shift away from the traditional method of consuming marijuana -— smoking it — to new delivery methods.” -Marijuana policy group, market size and demand for marijuana in colorado, 2014 Patients have had the right to use medical marijuana in Nevada for over a decade. However, patients have not always had a legal way to obtain their medicine. Patients have been able to grow up to 12 plants and able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of flower or extracted cannabis since 2013. Patients have had to rely on their ability to produce their own medicine until Nevada’s licensed dispensaries open. As recognized by the Marijuana Policy Group in 2014, more patients are relying on new delivery methods for their medicine. Many of these delivery methods require the making of cannabis concentrate. Patients have learned methods to make such concentrate in their homes. In turn, the increase of patient home extraction has arguably led to an increase in home explosions. Due to the risk of home extraction when the method is not done properly, Nevada’s law enforcement community desired to restrict a patient’s ability to extract. The Nevada Legislature agreed that there was a risk associated with in-home extraction. Thus, during the 2015 Legislative Session a bill was passed to restrict cannabis extraction. As of July 1, 2015 it is now illegal for patients to extract concentrated cannabis. Concentrated cannabis is: “The extracted or separated resin, whether crude or purified, containing THC or CBD from marijuana.” The act of “extracting” is, “The process or act of extracting THC or CBD from marijuana, including, without limitation, pushing, pulling or drawing out THC or CBD from marijuana.” (Senate Bill 447) To be clear, the change in the law does not prohibit patients from possessing concentrated cannabis. Patients are still permitted to possess concentrated cannabis. Yet, the only place patients can legally obtain the extracted cannabis is from a state licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Pursuant to the new law, state licensed medical marijuana production facilities can extract concentrated cannabis and state licensed dispensaries can sell the concentrated cannabis to patients. Thus, patients who rely on concentrated cannabis as the method of delivery for their medicine will need to purchase that medicine from Nevada’s dispensaries. However, a big issue is that patients lost the right to extract cannabis as of July 1, 2015 and no state licensed dispensaries were open at the time. Therefore, patients may need to identify other methods of delivery until dispensaries are able to provide patients with the concentrated cannabis that they need. Ultimately, the change in the law was made out of a concern for safety; however, many patients may view the change as further restricting access to their medicine. Patients should be aware that extracting cannabis in their home is a criminal activity and they could face criminal charges and possibly jail time if they are caught.