Yes. Possession of marijuana is legal for adults in California per the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).
In California, adult (recreational) use means a person of legal age may possess and use marijuana without needing special permission. Even at that, the state stipulates the amount of marijuana a person may possess. On the other hand, medicinal use means individuals below the legal age may still possess and use cannabis, albeit within limits and with official permission.
The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) regulates all activities regarding growing marijuana plants for personal and commercial purposes. The agency also has regulatory oversight over commercial cannabis activity in the state.
It depends. The possession of weed is legal in California. Adults can have up to 28.5 grams (1 ounce) of weed on them. Above this amount, however, possession becomes criminal. Criminal possession, for the most part, is an infraction or misdemeanor. However, there are circumstances when having weed becomes a felony.
Factors that affect whether having weed is a felony in California include:
For the most part, offenses related to the possession of weed outside the purview of state laws are infractions or misdemeanors. First-time offenders typically face fines and alternative sentencing programs like community service and drug counseling. In some cases, however, a person will spend time in the county jail.
These penalties are stipulated under the California Health and Safety Code 11357 HS. The following are first-time possession offenses and their corresponding penalties:
The DCC recommends that eligible adults and persons over 18 (with a permit) buy weed from licensed cannabis retailers. The agency maintains a database of licensed retailers that is accessible to the public.
A search on this database will show the retailer’s business name, county of operation, address, phone number, email, and license information. Available license information include the expiry date, the license designation, license type, and status. It is important to check a retailer’s license status before buying weed to ensure the purchase is legal.
That said, licensed cannabis retailers have three options for adults who want to buy weed:
Retailers that offer the in-store purchase option operate marijuana dispensaries. These stores will have their commercial licenses displayed in their window in full public view. Cannabis retailer licenses have QR codes that intending customers may scan to see information about the seller and verify the license status.
The legal age to buy marijuana in California is 21 years old. However, California residents over 18 years can still buy marijuana, but only for medicinal purposes, and they must have supporting documentation.
Valid supporting documents include a physician’s recommendation letter or a valid medical marijuana identification card (MMIC). MMICs are valid outside the county of registration. The Department of Public Health maintains a list of counties participating in the MMIC program.
Note that physician recommendation letters are different from prescriptions doctors issue for FDA-approved marijuana-containing medicine. Also, these prescriptions are only issued for qualifying conditions. Some of these conditions include arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, epileptic seizures, and conditions included in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Per the California Health and Safety Code, an adult may only carry 28.5 grams or 1 ounce (oz) of marijuana on their person at any time. This amount is lesser for concentrated marijuana, however. The Safety Code restricts the amount of concentrated marijuana a person can carry to 8 grams.
Concentrated marijuana refers to a gooey, honey-like mass created by processing the marijuana plant. This end-product contains a higher amount of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the potent component in marijuana.
Indeed, California state laws permit commercial medical and adult (recreational) use and possession of marijuana in the amount specified in the Safety Code. However, at the federal level, marijuana remains illegal per the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). As such, the possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal on federal lands within California.
These areas include National Forests and National Parks, military bases, and facilities, including VA hospitals. Furthermore, certain Indian reservations, ports, international airports, and border checkpoints in California fall into this category of federal land. In addition, the possession of marijuana in federal prisons, US post offices, and affiliated facilities in California is illegal.
Per the Health and Safety Code Section 11357, possession of marijuana is illegal for persons under the age of 18. The penalties for underage possession are community service, completing drug education, or counseling. Generally:
Six (6) marijuana plants. The California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.2 limits the maximum number of marijuana plants a person or household can grow on private (non-commercial) properties to six (6). Furthermore, the safety code stipulates that private growers must grow the plants out of public view and in a locked space.
Despite this stipulation, counties and cities in California may have ordinances that regulate the outdoor cultivation of marijuana. Thus, it is best to check local ordinances in your county of residence before growing marijuana plants for personal use.
None. California state laws prohibit crossing state lines (into or out of) California. This restriction applies even if the other state legalizes marijuana possession. Interstate transport of weed is illegal because weed is illegal at the federal level.
Yes. It is illegal to use marijuana in public in California per Section 11362.2. of the California Health and Safety Code: