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What You Need to Know About Cannabis in California


California was one of the first States to legalize medicinal marijuana in 1996, and in 2016 also allowed for the recreational use of cannabis for adults. So, yes, using cannabis recreationally is legal in the state of California. But, like most substances, there are laws and regulations surrounding its use for individuals and businesses. Here’s what you need to know about cannabis in California.


Who can purchase cannabis in California?

If you are 21 years or older (or 18 with a physician’s note for medicinal use) you can purchase cannabis in California; although it’s important to also check the laws and regulations in your city or county as well. There are some differences between medicinal and recreational use, typically with more allowances for those using medicinally (these include higher possession limits, more plants grown at home and more plants purchased).


Where can you use cannabis in California?

Generally, if you’re smoking cannabis you can smoke wherever it is also legal to smoke tobacco. If you rent, you’ll want to make sure your landlord hasn’t banned smoking on your property (they are allowed to do so). It’s also important to note that the use of cannabis is still illegal federally which means if you’re in a national park, for example, you can’t smoke there. You also can’t take it across state lines.


How can you buy cannabis in California?

All cannabis retailers need to have a license from The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), which helps to ensure the regulation and quality of the products available to the public. If they have a license you can purchase cannabis from any retailer in-store or online. We recommend purchasing from companies that prioritize organic and sustainable farming, have plenty of transparency and information about their products and ones that align with your personal values.


How many plants can I own?

You can grow up to six plants for personal use in California, and when it comes to how much cannabis you can have on you, the amount is up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of dried cannabis flower or eight grams of cannabis-concentrate-infused products (this would include edibles).


What is illegal when it comes in cannabis in California?

In California you cannot:


  • Purchase cannabis under the age of 21
  • Possess more than the legal limit
  • Sell or gift to anyone under the age of 21 (or sell it in general to anyone without a license)
  • Drive or ride a bike under the influence of cannabis (and if it’s in your vehicle it must be in a sealed container or in the trunk)
  • Consume cannabis within 600 feet of a school, daycare centre or youth centre
  • Consume or smoke cannabis anywhere where it is also illegal to smoke tobacco
  • Consume or possess cannabis on federal land
  • Take cannabis across state lines

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