Cannabis laws in California are one of the states’ laws that allow marijuana to be available for recreational use and it is fully decriminalized. The state of California passed different legislations throughout the years which we will take a closer look at and see how the state made the decision to make marijuana free to use.
Both recreational and medical users of cannabis can enjoy the freedom to buy cannabis in dispensaries, knowing that marijuana is tested before hitting the shelves as required by the cannabis laws in California.
History of Cannabis Laws in California
Back in 1996, California was the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes by passing Proposition 215. This proposition made marijuana legal for medical use and allowed patients and caregivers to grow marijuana at home for their needs.
It wasn’t until November 2016 until marijuana in California was completely decriminalized by passing Proposition 64. With Proposition 64, weed consumption was made legal for adults over the age of 21. The Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation Safety Act was passed and it went in effect at the beginning of 2018. This act regulated the use of marijuana and labeled it as a freely accessible substance which is also a subject of tax and established how marijuana can be sold legally. Prior to the official passing of the bill, marijuana for recreational use was considered illegal according to the previous cannabis laws in California.
Where Can You Buy Cannabis in California?
All activities regarding cannabis are regulated by the MAUCRSA as stated in the cannabis laws in California. This legal entity establishes all laws and regulations in relation to commercial marijuana sale and uses for recreational purposes. Medical cannabis related rules are regulated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Recreational use of marijuana is handled by the California Bureau of Cannabis control (BCC), a legal entity that has been established after marijuana has been made legal to be used freely by adults over the age of 21. The business licences in relation to recreational cannabis uses and dispensaries are also handled by this legal entity as authorized by the cannabis laws in California.
Buying Marijuana in California via Nugg
In the state of California, state-licensed dispensaries are widely spread and you can buy cannabis for recreational use in one of them. The purchase is possible regardless if you are a registered user of medical cannabis or if you are only looking to use cannabis for recreational purposes. Patients who are under the age of 21 or if they are unable to go and buy the marijuana themselves need to have a caregiver, a parent or a legal guardian who will purchase the cannabis for them as stated by the cannabis laws in California.
The state of California also offers delivery services and medical marijuana can be delivered to the patients if they are unable to physically go and buy the cannabis themselves. These delivery services, however, are no widely available on the territory of the state of California. They are regulated by local authorities so this differs depending on where in California you live.
Cannabis in California is a subject to tax 15% cannabis excise tax, between 8 and 10% city tax and between 7.25 and 11% sales and use tax in accordance to the cannabis laws in California.
Still, Proposition 64 allows for registered patients who are able to show a valid medical marijuana identification card issued by a governing body are exempt for the sale and use tax on all cannabis product when they go in a state-licensed dispensary to buy medical cannabis.
Cannabis Consumption Rules in California
Cannabis laws in California require marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes to be consumed in private property. Some businesses hold cannabis consumption licenses which makes smoking onsite legal. Dispensaries usually hold one such license.
Smoking or eating cannabis needs to follow the same rules as cigarette smoking and e-liquid vaping according to the cannabis laws in California. If a person is in a non-smoking area, they are not allowed to smoke or vape cannabis there. If they do, it is considered illegal and it is an infraction.
When it comes to consuming cannabis in a vehicle, it is illegal to do so in a motor vehicle and while riding a bike as well. The same applies if the person who is consuming weed is only the passenger in a vehicle.
Additional rules regarding places where cannabis can be smoked, vaped or used in any other form apply. A person in California must not smoke cannabis where cigarettes are not allowed, to start with. Then, consumption of marijuana is not allowed within 1000 feet of a school, daycare or youth center where children are present as stated by the cannabis laws in California. However, this refers to public consumption. If you live in close proximity to a school, for example, you are allowed to use cannabis at your own property.
Cannabis California via Green Cultured
A person over the age of 21 is legally allowed to buy marijuana for recreational use in a quantity of up to 1 ounce or around 30 grams or up to 8 grams concentrated cannabis as stated by the cannabis laws in California. People living in the state of California are also allowed to cultivate and grow their own weed at home, the maximum allowance being 6 plants. The rules on cultivation are different in California when compared to rules of other states where weed for recreational use is free. In this state, the limit stays at 6 plants and it does not depend on the maturity of the plant. In some of the states where cannabis is legal, the maximum number of plants is also 6 but only three of them must be mature enough to consume.
When it comes to medical marijuana patients and their caregivers, they are allowed to possess and transport up to 8 ounces or around 225 grams of dried marijuana. The limitation for cannabis concentrate is set to 8 ounces as well. The rules for home cultivation are different as well since they are allowed to grow a total of 12 plants, but only 6 of them to be mature at one time as limited by the cannabis laws in California.
As for recreational users, they are allowed to possess and transport up to 1 ounce or around 30 grams. They are able to have weed in the car, however, it needs to be in a sealed container and not be consumed in the vehicle, especially not when driving.
People who use cannabis for recreational purposes may gift up to 1 ounce to another person but not in exchange for money, The person who they are giving the need to must also be over the age of 21 as stated by the cannabis laws in California.
Cannabis in California via Green State
Cannabis Consumption Under the Age of 21
In the state of California, only people who are over 21 can legally and safely consume cannabis. People under the age of 21 can consume cannabis legally only if they are classified as qualifying patients.
If a person under the age of 21 is caught in possession of marijuana and fails to provide a valid medical marijuana ID card, this is treated as an offense. The person will need to complete a drug education course and attend counseling sessions. Penalties and jail time is possible if this a repeated offense as indicated by the cannabis laws in Canada.
Still, possessing small quantities of marijuana is no regarded as a very serious offense and for first-time offenders, the consequences are not long lasting and this will not reflect in any way on their future.
Medical Marijuana Qualifying conditions
In the state of California, there are quite a few diseases and conditions that can be qualified as a subject to medical marijuana treatment. Those diseases and conditions are the following:
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Chronic pain
- Chronic migraine
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
- Severe nausea
Medical marijuana users need to submit an application to the California Department of Public Health in order to be made part of the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program. The same applies to their caregivers as they need to obtain one such card as well in order to be able to make purchases on behalf of the patient according to the cannabis laws in California.
Medical Marijuana California via Cannabis Reports
Medical marijuana ID cards can be valid for up to a year and they can be renewed.
To obtain one such card, the procedure is the following:
- The patient needs to have a written statement from a physician confirming the condition that the patient has and how marijuana can be beneficial for their recovery.
- If necessary, the patient needs to appoint a caregiver. If the patient is fit to make their own purchases of medical marijuana, appointing a caregiver is not mandatory.
- The patient also needs to provide a form of identification such as an ID card or a driver’s license issued by the state of California. Proof of address is required as well.
- The application then needs to be filled in and submitted to the legal entity overseeing the ID cards, in this case, the department of public health.
If approved, the card will be issued to the patient and the caregiver if one is appointed by the patient
A primary caregiver needs to be appointed by the patient in the application process. A caregiver can be any person who is over the age of 18, a resident of the state who needs to provide care to the patient as stated by the cannabis laws in California. If a caregiver is regarded as primary, they can’t apply for their own medical marijuana ID card. They would need to apply for a card as a designated caregiver. The validity of the medical marijuana caregiver ID card is valid as long as the patient’s card is valid.
To apply for a medical marijuana ID card, both the patient and the caregiver need to pay fees, yet they vary depending on the location.
Cannabis Lab Testing in California
The cannabis laws in California regulated by the BCC require that all cannabis that hits state-regulated dispensaries to be tested. In cannabis testing last, the marijuana samples are checked for the following:
- Residual solvents
- Moisture/water content
- Foreign material
Cannabis Dispensaries California via Cannabis Business Plan
Cannabis testing labs in California are monitored by the state’s regulatory body, however, the majority of the labs are private. All of these labs need to receive a seal of approval by the state. They function as third-party laboratories. Producers need to submit samples for testing to one of these laws as required by the cannabis laws in California and if the cannabis is approved for use, they might distribute it to dispensaries.
However, the process of obtaining a license for a cannabis testing lab is not the quickest one. The state’s regulating body needs to carry out checks and establish if the lab meets the requirements. In that sense, the lab needs to be fully equipped before starting the procedure of obtaining a license. The process might last for a couple of months and with more and more laboratories emerging, things are additionally being slowed down due to the current cannabis laws in California in regards to licensing.
Still, the demand for laboratories in California is increasing due to the fact that it is mandatory to have samples tested before the cannabis hits the shelves of dispensaries.
As presented, cannabis laws in California are quite liberating for users of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. The state of California recognized the benefits of marijuana and made the laws fair on everyone. The regulating body is really doing a good job to keep marijuana consumption within reasonable frames while at the same time not restricting the free consumption of the substance.