California Marijuana Laws – What You Need To Know
David Muñoz | August 25, 2023 | California Law
In 2016, California voters legalized marijuana via Proposition 64. However, many people assume that means you can consume or grow marijuana anywhere, anytime, without a problem. This isn’t entirely true.
Since 2016, the state has regulated the consumption of marijuana and created rules about what is legal and what is not.
Read on to learn what you need to know about California marijuana laws.
Who Can Buy Marijuana?
You must be over the age of 21 to buy recreational marijuana in California. The only exception is for people aged 18 and older with a valid doctor’s prescription for medicinal marijuana.
You do not need to be a state resident to buy recreational marijuana. However, you do need to consume the marijuana in the state; if you transport it across state lines, that is a federal crime.
You can only legally buy or possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of a concentrate.
Where Can You Buy Marijuana?
You can only legally buy marijuana from a licensed recreational or medicinal retailer. Retailers are licensed by the Department of Cannabis Control. You cannot legally purchase marijuana from anyone unlicensed.
The licensing process is an important part of marijuana regulation in the state. It makes sure that the marijuana is tested, accurately labeled, and free from harmful chemicals or pesticides. You can tell that a store is licensed because there will be a state license in the window.
Just because you have to buy marijuana from a licensed retailer doesn’t mean you have to go into a store. Many legal services offer online delivery options.
Where Can You Consume Marijuana?
You are allowed to consume marijuana on private property. This means that you can smoke in your home, backyard, or at a friend’s house (with their permission). If you rent, you can only use marijuana if it is allowed by the rental agreement. Most rentals do not allow smoking inside the unit.
You cannot consume marijuana in public. This includes places where it is illegal to smoke tobacco or within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare. The only exception is if you are inside of your private home that is near a school.
You also can’t consume marijuana while driving. If you are pulled over, this can result in a criminal conviction for DUI. It might also cause a car accident. If you have marijuana in your car, it must be in a sealed container or kept in the trunk.
A Note on Federal Law
While marijuana is legal in California, the federal government has not legalized marijuana. This means that you cannot consume or possess marijuana on any federal land or transport it across state lines.
Federal lands include:
- National parks
- Federal courthouses
- Federal administrative buildings
- Bureau of Land Management properties
If you are caught with marijuana on federal property, you can be prosecuted according to federal law.
Growing Marijuana at Home
Many people choose to grow marijuana at home. This practice has grown in popularity since legalization. You are legally allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home as long as you are over 21 years old.
However, you can only grow the marijuana for personal consumption unless you are licensed to sell. If you attempt to sell marijuana without a license, you may face criminal charges and jail time, depending on the amount.
Furthermore, you must keep the plants indoors or inside of an auxiliary structure, like a shed or garage. You cannot grow the plants in the open.
Questions About California Marijuana Laws?
If you have questions about California’s marijuana laws, you should speak with an attorney. It’s better to be clear about the laws and regulations than to risk doing something illegal. Just because you see other people buying or consuming marijuana in a particular way doesn’t mean it is lawful.
A lawyer can help you understand your rights before you make a mistake.
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