Marijuana Law in California

California is one of many states that now have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.  Although recreational use of marijuana is now allowed, there are still restrictions and criminal penalties related to marijuana explained below.

Prop 64

  •  Makes it legal for adults age 21 and over to buy and use marijuana
  • Allows prior offenders to petition to have their charges reduced
  • State tax of 14% on all retail sales (including medical marijuana)
  • Cultivation tax
  • Allows you to apply for re-sentencing of a previous marijuana conviction if your sentence would have been lighter under Prop 64.

When can I start using recreational marijuana in California?

As of November 9, 2016 the recreation use of marijuana is now legal.  However it will be at least 6 months before anyone can legally sell weed because local governments still need to establish regulations.  Counties and cities may also restrict where retail marijuana businesses can be located.

How much marijuana can I Possess?

Adults aged 21 and over can possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana or up to 4 grams of concentrated cannabis (wax or hashish).  Possessing more than this is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to (6 months in county jail and/or a $500 fine).  Anyone under the age of 21 who is caught in possession of marijuana can receive an infraction and fine along with a sentence of drug counseling or community service.

Where can I possess Marijuana?

You can possess marijuana in your private home or at any business licensed for on-site marijuana consumption.  You can’t use weed in public, while driving or anywhere smoking tobacco is prohibited. Possess of marijuana on the grounds of any K-12 school, daycare or youth center by someone 18 or older is a misdemeanor and finable up to $250.

Growing Marijuana

Adults can grow up to 6 plants within a private home out of public view.  Growing more than this is punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $500. 

Growing marijuana is a felony though if:

  • You have a previous violent felony or are a registered sex offender
  • You have 2 or more prior convictions of growing more than 6 plants
  • You violate certain environmental laws

Who can sell Marijuana?

Businesses need to acquire a license from the state of California and local government.  Intent to sell without a license will generally be misdemeanors with penalties up to 6 months in county jail and fines of up to $1000.

Marijuana Crimes - Intent to sell is still a felony though in California if:

  • You have a previous violent felony or are a registered sex offender
  • You have 2 or more prior convictions of this crime
  • You knowingly sold to someone under the age of 18
  • You import into California or export out of California more marijuana  than you are allowed to possess with intent to sell.