Home Education Your Quick Guide to Adult-Use Cannabis in California

Your Quick Guide to Adult-Use Cannabis in California

by Lisa Rough

California just celebrated the first days of adult-use legalization with the New Year!

Whether you’re a longtime cannabis advocate in California or just discovering the benefits of cannabis, if you’re in California, there are a few things you must keep in mind to stay legal while exploring the newly legal cannabis market in California.

Here’s a quick run-down of the adult-use laws for consumers:

How much cannabis can I possess?

As an adult over the age of 21 with a valid identification, you may possess up to one ounce of cannabis, or up to eight grams of cannabis concentrates.

I’m just visiting California. Can I still purchase cannabis?

Yes! Any adult may visit a retail cannabis store, as long as they have a valid state or government-issued identification. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot bring cannabis back from California with you (even if you live in another legal state! Taking cannabis across state lines is still illegal under federal law).

Can I grow my own cannabis?

If you are an adult California resident, then yes! You may cultivate up to six plants, as long as they are grown in a secure, locked container out of view of the general public. You may also possess any and all cannabis produced by your plants, even if it exceeds the legal limit.

Where can I consume cannabis?

Just because cannabis is now legal in California, don’t go sparking up just anywhere. It is still illegal to consume cannabis in public, with a $100 fine if you do. You are also prohibited from cannabis use near schools or daycare centers.

Although California may eventually allow for onsite consumption at licensed businesses, currently, the safest place to consume cannabis is in the privacy of your own home.

Can I drive with cannabis?

Yes, you may drive with cannabis in a secure container in your car, but using cannabis while driving is still considered driving under the influence, and carries the same penalties are driving under the influence of alcohol:

  • A fine of $390 up to $1,000
  • Between 96 hours and 6 months in jail
  • Driver’s licenses suspension for 6 months
  • Probation for 3 – 5 years

I’m a medical marijuana patient. Does my medical card still work?

Yes. Qualified medical marijuana patients may purchase and possess up to eight ounces of cannabis and may cultivate six mature plants and up to twelve immature seedlings. You may also possess any cannabis produced by your plants, even if it exceeds the legal limit.

How much cannabis is too much?

Unless you are a registered medical marijuana patient, possessing more than one ounce of cannabis is still considered a misdemeanor and may be punishable by up to a $500 fine. Also, the possession of any amount of cannabis as a minor under the age of 21 is punishable as a misdemeanor with a first fine of $250, followed by a $500 for any additional possession charges.

Where can I purchase cannabis?

There are currently more than 400 licensed cannabis businesses in California, including 113 newly licensed cannabis retailers. You can view a full list of the temporary licensees and where they are located on the Bureau of Cannabis Control website here.

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