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Cannabis financing in Nevada

Limited licenses and pricey licensing fees make it difficult for new businesses to grow.

Nevada has experienced a 23.11% increase in small business job growth since 2016, according to Small Businesses Trends. But despite this, the number of licenses issued by the Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) for dispensaries has already been reached in the state. And the last round of licensing was in 2018. However, established businesses can still take advantage of small business loans that work with the cannabis industry. Filter by your annual revenue, credit score and time in business to narrow down your options.
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
Lendio business loans
Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5: ★★★★★
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
National Funding business loans
Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5: ★★★★★
National Funding business loans
$5,000 – $500,000
4% to 8%
Be in business at least one year and make at least $150,000 in annual sales. Other loan types have additional requirements.
Working capital loans and equipment financing, some high-risk industries may be eligible.
ROK Financial business loans
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
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Compare up to 4 providers

4 types of cannabis financing available

Financing for cannabis-based businesses is limited because of the Controlled Substances Act. There are options — but most are limited and may be more expensive because of the risk associated with the cannabis industry.

Term loans

Term loans are the most traditional option for businesses. These are meant for a variety of expenses, including marketing, gaps in cash flow and purchasing inventory.

However, it can be more difficult for cannabis-based businesses to qualify for funding. Very few lenders, even online lenders, are willing to work with a business in this high-risk industry. And even if you can find a lender that will work with your business, you may face higher interest rates and a steep origination fee.

Equipment loans

Equipment loans — and equipment leases — are secured term loans used to purchase specialized equipment. They tend to have lower interest rates than other loans because the equipment acts as collateral. And many sellers offer in-house financing, although it can still be difficult to qualify as a cannabis-based business.

Inventory loans

Inventory loans are used to purchase inventory at wholesale prices for your business. In the case of cannabis, this can include the cannabis itself or related items. You may be able to find in-house financing, but exact terms and costs will depend on the seller and what products you need to buy.

Commercial real estate loans

If you plan on purchasing land to grow cannabis or a site to manufacture, test or sell to the public, you will need a commercial real estate loan.

In Nevada, there are some set regulations dispensaries must follow. Properties must have secure entrances and be built as a medical or pharmaceutical facility. They must also be located at least 1,000 feet away from a public or private school — and at least 300 feet away from a community facility. This is in addition to complying with all local zoning, land use and signage ordinances.

Cannabis financing restrictions in Nevada

Nevada has a set number of licenses for dispensaries and retail stores — and all 132 licenses have been awarded as of May 2021. This doesn't mean your business is out of luck. There are other classes that may still have licenses available.

And dispensaries are able to sell licenses to new owners. Also, if a business has its license revoked or surrenders it, Nevada may award it to a new business.

While applications for licenses haven't opened in a few years, you should also know that all dispensaries must have at least $250,000 in liquid assets before applying.

Other classes may have their own licensing restrictions and asset requirements. Contact a specialized cannabis attorney and the CCB with inquiries to see if your business is eligible for a license.

Bank lending for cannabis businesses in Nevada

The Money Laundering Control Act regulates revenue produced by a cannabis-based business. And while national banks are technically able to work with businesses in the cannabis industry, most consider it too high-risk — and so don't offer loans or business banking options. State banks and local credit unions may be more flexible, but they still need to abide by federal law.

The SAFE Banking Act may change things. If passed, banks would be allowed to work with businesses in states where cannabis is legal. But passage isn't guaranteed, so keep an eye out for developments that could impact the cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis in Nevada.

Cannabis business license requirements

Both recreational and medical businesses must apply for a $5,000 license. And there's a catch: Nevada currently doesn't have any licenses open. But you can purchase a license from a business — even though the process isn't well-defined and will require you to work with a specialized attorney.

Cannabis businesses must be officially licensed to grow, manufacture, test, distribute or sell in Nevada. There is a standard application period announced at least 45 days in advance.

To be notified, sign up for the listserv on the Nevada Department of Taxation website. According to the CCB, the application period is typically open for 10 business days.

For businesses that currently have a license, you must renew your license at least 60 days prior to expiration. The exact renewal fee varies based on your class and whether your business specializes in recreational or medical marijuana.

Classes and licensing fees for recreational marijuana

Nevada law sets five classes — and relevant fees — for businesses involved in the recreational cannabis industry.

Cultivation facility

$30,000

$10,000

Growing, harvesting and packaging cannabis for sale to retail stores and manufacturing facilities

Distributor

$15,000

$5,000

Transporting cannabis products between establishments

Product manufacturing facility

$10,000

$3,300

Purchasing, manufacturing, processing and packaging cannabis and cannabis products for sale to retail stores and other manufacturing facilities

Testing facility or laboratory

$15,000

$5,000

Testing cannabis and cannabis products for potency and contaminants

Retail store or dispensary

$20,000

$6,600

Selling cannabis and cannabis products to consumers

Classes and licensing fees for medical marijuana

For medical marijuana, the licensing and renewal fees are slightly lower — and there are only four classes of business under Nevada law.

Cultivation facility

$3,000

$1,000

Growing, harvesting and packaging cannabis for sale to retail stores and manufacturing facilities

Product manufacturing facility

$3,000

$1,000

Purchasing, manufacturing, processing and packaging cannabis and cannabis products for sale to retail stores and other manufacturing facilities

Testing facility or laboratory

$5,000

$3,000

Testing cannabis and cannabis products for potency and contaminants

Dispensary

$30,000

$5,000

Selling cannabis and cannabis products to consumers

State taxes on the cultivation and sale of cannabis

Beside state and county sales taxes, Nevada imposes two excise taxes on the sale of cannabis:

  • 15% excise tax on the first wholesale sale
  • 10% retail excise tax on sale price when sold for recreational use

Cultivators and retail stores must file and pay monthly taxes on cannabis sales for both recreational and medical use. These must be filed each month — even if your overall tax liability is zero.

Bottom line

While licensing for cannabis-based businesses isn't currently open in Nevada, established businesses can compare the best business loans for cannabis for more funding. We also recommend you subscribe to the CCB newsletter so your business remains up-to-date with new licensing requirements and other regulations.

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