What You Need to Know About Legal Weed in California

As California readies for legal recreational-use, we're serving up some high-end, medical grade, Golden State weed knowledge.

The November 2016 passing of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana act, brought legal recreational weed-use to California for the first time––making the Golden State one of only eight states to honor such a freedom. In anticipation of Prop 64 taking effect, Governor Jerry Brown and lawmakers from various state government agencies are working to merge California’s pre-existing medical marijuana law Proposition 215, and the new recreational use law, in order to keep all California weed dealings under a single regulatory structure.

Applying said rules and regulations to a market that previously existed in a mostly quasi-legal underground is no task in simplicity. Furthermore, with state laws in opposition of marijuana’s Schedule I federal classification, the lines between what is legal and what remains illegal, are blurry at best. Indeed, rules regarding cannabis delivery, and other provisions of Proposition 64 were announced Thursday, as part of the state spending budget––which includes $118 million for “startup costs” for the now legal industry–––agreed upon by the Governor and other top officials.

“In general, the state will treat cannabis like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow six marijuana plants at home,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Of course, the law contains language that keeps it open to change. But for now, keep scrolling for more information points one would be keen to keep in mind, should one plan on getting legally lit on that California chronic.

Where You Can Buy It

Come January, licensed retail storefronts and delivery services will begin to meet a believed to be massive consumer demand. But if you want to get your cannabis straight from the source, weed enterprises will be able to “legally grow, distribute and sell their own product,” reports the Chronicle. Though, according to a recently conducted study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, 29 percent of Golden State cannabis consumers will opt to stick to their local dealer, and purchase illicit cannabis, over a regulated retail location, in order to save money. 

Marijuana In Your Car

The rules for carrying weed in your car are similar to the rules currently applied to alcohol. Which means that, unless you’re a medical marijuana patient, driving around with an open container of cannabis will land you a $100 fine, should you get pulled over while riding dirty. An “open container” is defined by the state, as any receptacle of marijuana that’s been previously opened, and located anywhere in the vehicle besides the trunk. The designation even includes vape pens and edibles. If you are a medical patient, however, riding around with previously opened jars of pot is legally chill, depending on the situation.

Marijuana And Your Job

While it’s been legalized in the state of California, marijuana is still not legal at the federal level, which means that like heroin and LSD, the government still considers weed to carry no medicinal value. Still, you can remain in compliance of all state laws, but lose your job over your weed habit, as California offers workers zero legal protection pertaining to marijuana, which leaves employees vulnerable to their respective employer’s drug policies.

Marijuana and The Outside World

Even though it is now legal for adults to use marijuana, it is still illegal to use marijuana in public. There is a loophole, however, consumption in retail spaces which are generally out of the public view, or in designated cannabis clubs, is totally chill per the new law.

The state will also issue temporary licenses to marijuana businesses that would permit said weed enterprises to distribute samples of cannabis products in public spaces, such as county fairs, concerts, agricultural events, and festivals.

Marijuana In Your House

Adults in California can now legally possess just over an ounce––28 grams––of flower, and up to eights grams of cannabis concentrates. Under Proposition 64 you can also grow up to six plants in your home, provided it’s cultivated in a locked area and isn’t visible from outside your property. Even if local jurisdiction bans outdoor growing, they cannot ban indoor growing.

Marijuana Testing, and Tax

Currently, independent licensed companies test samples of medical marijuana for 22 different residual solvents and processing chemicals, although regulations can still change before January 1 of next year. Medical cannabis will be tested for 66 various pesticides and microbiological impurities, such as salmonella, as well as “filth and foreign material,” and heavy metals.

Testing taxes will be applied to marijuana purchased at any legally licensed shop. Recreational products can be taxed from 7.5 to 10 percent per California state sales tax, but other marijuana taxes can also be applied to the herb, which can have it selling at a 15 percent increase of its normal price. And for marijuana businesses to pay taxes, a designated office will be opened north of San Francisco.

Now, with all of this California weed knowledge under your belt, put one in the air, and share it with your friends. Let them know some of what you learned, too.