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Health & Medicine

Cannabis Law: Regulations in California

— September 9, 2019

Awareness of the laws regarding cannabis use in your area is important.

You might be curious to know California Cannabis Law Regulations whether you’re a recreational or medical marijuana user. So in the following, you’ll find a guide for reference regarding its legality and regulations surrounding it in the State. Check them out.

Is cannabis legal in California?

Yes, it is legal in the state. You can legally buy marijuana in a Marijuana Dispensary and Bureau of Cannabis Control retail outlets. A few available forms include dried marijuana, concentrate and hash.

Who can use it?

You can buy weed in the state if you’re at least 21 years old and possess up to 28.5g of it, up to 6 live plants and up to 8g of concentrate.

Under California’s medical marijuana program, you can buy and/or possess up to 8 oz. of weed and up to 12 live plants provided that you have a medical marijuana card.

On the other hand, there are also stricter laws regarding the consumption and sales within their territories and borders. You might want to check on that, too.

Are there any age limits?

Yes, there are age limits. For example, you must be at least 21 to buy, use and possess recreational cannabis. Consumption methods include eating cannabis-infused edibles, vaping and smoking.

Cannabis Business Regulations

In addition to age restrictions and places to buy marijuana in California, there are regulations you need to know even if cannabis is legal for medical or recreational use. See the following for the rules regarding its use, possession, and retail.

Man holding tongs with marijuana; image by Get Budding, via
Man holding tongs with marijuana; image by Get Budding, via
  • As said, individuals may possess up to 28.5 grams of the plant material or eight grams of the concentrate form.
  • You should not sell or give weed to minors.
  • You should not drive under the influence of marijuana. In addition to not driving under the influence, you should not vape, eat or smoke marijuana while in your car or while riding in the passenger seat. The same rules apply for an aircraft, boat or any other transportation vehicles.
  • You should not smoke or consume weed in locations where it is illegal to smoke. Some of these places include restaurants, bars and other premises and buildings open to the public. California laws allow onsite cannabis use in lounges and cafes, but it must be limited to an age-restricted area that’s not visible from a public place or where tobacco or alcohol isn’t allowed.
  • Also, you must not consume it within 15 feet of ventilation openings and door and places of work or employment.
  • In public, you should not smoke, eat, consume or vape cannabis. The same applies with opening a package with cannabis in public, including in sidewalks and parks. Up to this time of writing, it is still illegal to smoke cannabis outside whether you’re a recreational or medical user.

Other rules

  • On federal lands, it is also illegal to possess and use cannabis. An example is a national park. Other areas listed as federal lands include the Alcatraz Island, Ocean Beach, and Presidio.
  • Consumption should be limited in private properties except if property owners ban its possession and use on the property. In private properties, you must only smoke it in areas where smoking tobacco is allowed. However, you’re out of luck if you’re a renter and the property owner bans smoking in your unit.
  • Only licensed establishments and dispensaries may sell cannabis.
  • You should not take cannabis across state lines even if going to states where cannabis is legal.
  • While you can travel with weed inside your vehicle, you must keep it in the trunk or in a sealed container.

The local, the federal and the state laws on medical marijuana

It’s been legal since the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) also called the Cal. Health & Safety (H&S) § 11362.5 has been passed in 1996.

After legalizing recreational marijuana (Proposition 64), the Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act were passed, too. 

Also referred to as the MAUCRSA, it states combining a regulation for recreational and medical marijuana use.

The rules stated therein regulate for profit cultivation, distribution and manufacture as well as transportation, testing and dispensing of cannabis but with local and state permits. And starting January 1, 2018, temporary state licenses became available.

These rules are not affecting patients provided they cultivate or grow cannabis for medical consumption. They must also utilize and limit the area of cultivation up to 100 square feet.

On the other hand, main caregivers can also grow up to 500 sq. feet for the medical use of up to five patients but without regulation under the new rules.

Final thoughts

Cannabis is legal in California but still illegal and classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. For this reason, it may be unlawful to distribute, use, possess and purchase it under federal law. Be guided and stay out of trouble. Buy cannabis only at a licensed Marijuana Dispensary.

Disclaimer: This article is only for reference and not intended to replace a lawyer or doctor’s advice.

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