Is Weed Legal in California?

is weed legal in california

If you are a California resident or someone visiting the state and want to know more about the Weed laws of California, your search ends here. Yes, Weed is legal for medical and recreational use for adults over the age of 21 in California, but there is so much more to the California weed laws that you need to know.

In 1996, California was the first state in the U.S. to legalize Cannabis for medical use, it was truly a remarkable moment that put the spark for the Cannabis industry and set the road map for other states to follow.

Now over 37 states in the U.S. have legalized Cannabis for Medical purposes including Texas and Pennsylvania.

In 2006, California has also legalized the recreational use of Cannabis for people over the age of 21, but there is so much more to the California Recreational and Medical Cannabis law than meets the eye.

In this article, We are going to explain everything that you need to know about California Marijuana laws about medical and recreational use, possession, selling, smoking in public, growing, and much more.  

So, let’s get into it.

California Medical Marijuana Laws:

California government passed a Compensanate Use Act or Proposition 215 in 1996 making Cannabis legal for medical use in California.

If a patient is suffering from certain qualifying conditions, He/She is eligible for Medical marijuana use.

The qualifying conditions for Medical Marijuana Use in California are:

  • Anorexia
  • AIDS
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Extreme Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Or any other under illness for which marijuana can provide relief.

If the qualifying conditions are met, a patient can get a recommendation from a certified doctor and can purchase Medical Cannabis at the local dispensary in California, or the patient can also apply for a Medical Marijuana ID card.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

A patient can apply for a Medical Marijuana ID card at the California Department of Public Health that costs an annual fee of 100$, which is not necessary to acquire medical Cannabis in California, but it can certainly help.

A patient with a medical condition that requires assistance in obtaining medical Marijuana, can also appoint a Caregiver to acquire it on his behalf. The caregiver must be 18+ years old and be able to bear responsibility for the well-being of the patient.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding California’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program, you can visit the state’s official website.

Now, Cannabis is legal in California for recreational use, so do you really need a Medical Marijuana ID card or even a medical recommendation from a Doctor to acquire or use Cannabis?

The answer is Not really, but it does help.

With a medical recommendation from the doctor, a patient is eligible to purchase 8 times more cannabis at a time from the dispensary and is eligible to grow 2 times as much Cannabis at home than without a doctor’s recommendation.

With a Medical Marijuana ID card, a patient is less likely to get in trouble with law enforcement if He/She is caught with an unsolicited amount (up to 8 ounces) of Marijuana, and the ID card also exempts the patient from paying taxes on Cannabis purchase.

California Recreational Marijuana Laws:

Cannabis has been legal in California for recreational use since the government passed the Adult use of Marijuana Act or Proposition 64 back in November 2016, which makes Cannabis legal for individuals over 21 years old. 

According to Proposition 64, An individual of legal age can purchase up to an ounce (28.5 grams) of Cannabis flower and 8 grams of Cannabis Concentrates for personal use from any local Cannabis dispensary.

A person of legal age can also carry an ounce of Cannabis flowers and 8 grams of Cannabis concentrates in a sealed box or Container in California without occurring any penalty.

Is it legal to grow Weed in California?

Yes, an adult is allowed to grow a maximum of up to 6 Cannabis plants for recreational purposes indoors or within their property but it should be secured from minors.

For growing cannabis in a rented property, a person needs permission from the concerned party, i.e. Landlord, Owner. Otherwise, Landlords are not legally obliged to let you grow a Cannabis plant within their premises.

A patient or Caregiver with Medical Marijuana ID can grow up to 6 mature plants and 12 immature Cannabis plants within their premises, without any issue.

Penalties for illicit Cannabis Possession, Cultivation, and Use in California:

  • Carrying more than 1 ounce (28.5 grams) of Cannabis flower, or more than 8 grams of Cannabis Concentrates (hash) for recreational purposes is a Misdemeanor in California that could lead to a fine of up to 500$, and incarceration of up to 6 months, or both.
  • If a person between the age of 18 to 21 is found with any form of Cannabis, He/She can face a fine of up to 100$ and has to take drug counseling, or perform community service.
  • If a person under the age of 18 is found with more than 28.5 grams (1 ounce) of Cannabis flowers, or more than 8 grams of cannabis concentrates, He/She will be guilty of an infraction and have to face Community service and Drug Counseling.
  • If a person under the age of 18 is found to be growing Cannabis will also be guilty of an infraction and has to perform Community services and take drug counseling. If a person is over 18 and under 21 is found to be growing Cannabis, they can be fined up to 100$.
  • For adults, Growing more than 6 Cannabis plants without proper authorization is a crime, and the guilty person will be charged with a misdemeanor that could lead up to 6 months of jail time and a 500$ fine, but the fine and jail time is generally decided on the amount of Cannabis you are growing and the intent behind it and in some cases the penalty could be a lot bigger.
  • Possession of cannabis with an intent to sell without proper authorization is also a misdemeanor that could be punishable with up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to 1000$. 
  • Selling Cannabis in any form to a minor(under the age of 180 is a serious offense that could lead up to 7 years of prison time in California.
  • It is also illegal to drive under the influence of Cannabis.

For most people in most cases, breaking or violating California Cannabis law is an Infraction or Misdemeanor, but if the person has a prior criminal history including but not limited to drug convictions, it will be considered as a felony.

Is it legal to smoke weed in public in California?

No, it is not legal to smoke weed in California.

If a person is caught smoking, vaping weed in public in California, He/She will have to face a fine of up to 100$. The fine could even exceed up to 250$ if the guilty party is found smoking Cannabis near school, youth center, near children, restaurant, bar, parks, In a car, school bus, plane, boat, or any other means of transport, or public area. 

It is advised that the cannabis must be consumed responsibly by the adult in their private residences in California.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is an ounce of weed in California?

The price for an ounce of Weed depends on the quality and type of Cannabis Strain but it can cost somewhere between 250$ to 400$.

Can a person be drug tested at work for Cannabis in California?

Unfortunately Yes. According to The Supreme Court of California, An employer can take necessary action against an employee if he/she is tested positive for being under the influence of Cannabis in the Workplace, regardless of medical use. 

Can I take Medical Cannabis on the plane in California?

Yes you can take the appropriate amount of Cannabis in closed containers with your other medicines in planes, most airports are respectful to the patient’s rights and even if certain airports like Burbank’s aren’t, and in any case the security finds cannabis in your luggage, the standard procedure for them is to turn you into the local law enforcement who follows state law, so you will not be in any sort of trouble.

Flying with Cannabis out of the state of California is certainly a crime even if the state you are flying to has legalized Cannabis.

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