In 1996, California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use with Proposition 215. In 2016, the state passed Proposition 64. Also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, this proposition legalized the use of cannabis for recreational use. 

While California is one of 11 states to have legalized cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, there are still laws in place. Here are five things you need to know about California cannabis laws. 

1. California Cannabis Laws Affect Who Can Buy

recreational cannabis

Cannabis might be legal for medical and recreational use in California, but that doesn’t mean that just anyone can get it. There are age restrictions.

To purchase cannabis for recreational use, you must be over 21 and have a valid government-issued ID. You don’t need a medical card to purchase cannabis for medical purposes. However, presenting a valid card means that you don’t have to pay the sales and use tax. 

Adults 21 and older can purchase up to 28 grams of cannabis flower and up to 8 grams of concentrate. You can only possess up to these limits as well. 

Adults 18 and older can purchase cannabis for medical use. It’s also legal for minors to use medical cannabis if it’s recommended by a physician. Keep in mind a legal guardian must make the purchase. 

2. Dispensaries Must Be Licensed with the State

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act outlines commercial cannabis activity. According to this law, dispensaries in the state of California must be licensed. Anyone found engaging in commercial cannabis activities without a license is subject to civil penalties. Dispensaries can’t sell cannabis between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am according to California cannabis laws.

Dispensaries with a license show that they are operating within the law. When looking for a dispensary, whether for medical or recreational purposes, be sure to purchase only from a licensed one. 

3. Growing Your Own Cannabis Has Restrictions

 It’s legal for adults to possess up to six living cannabis plants in their homes, according to the AUMA. Plants must be kept locked up and out of sight of others. Any product your plants produce that exceeds the 28-gram limit must be kept in your home and secured. 

4. Cannabis Must Be Transported in a Specific Way

It’s legal to transport cannabis in your car, but you need to be 21 or older and keep the product stored in a child-proof container. It also has to be out of your reach. It’s illegal to drive with an open container of cannabis, even if it’s being carried by a passenger over 21. No one in your vehicle (adult or underage) can smoke in the car. 

While you can transport cannabis within the state, it’s illegal to transport it to another state. It doesn’t matter if cannabis is legal in the destination state. You also can’t take cannabis on a plane, even if it’s for medicinal use. This includes taking a plane to a different state or even to another area within the state. 

5. There Are Restrictions for Use

Cannabis might be legal for recreational and medicinal use, but that doesn’t mean that you can use it whenever and wherever you want. Cannabis cannot be used in any of the following areas:

  • Any public place
  • Within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare, or youth center (unless you are in your private residence and the smoke isn’t detectable)
  • Anywhere smoking is prohibited

You can use cannabis within your private residence. This can be in the home, in an enclosed structure of a private residence, or on the grounds of a private residence. The smoke must be undetectable to the surrounding area. If you rent your home, however, your landlord has the right to tell you that you can’t use it.

While cannabis is legal in California, there are still laws that must be followed. Following these laws allows you to enjoy your cannabis without the fear of getting into trouble.