Cannabis, weed, pot, marijuana — it’s called many things, and it’s legal in California. But rules apply! For example, according to the letter of the law, you can’t spark a joint while walking down a crowded street.
So, to demystify the dos and don’ts of cannabis sale and use in California, we’re breaking down how it all works. Let’s check it out:
History of Legalization in California
California has long been one of the more progressive states regarding cannabis.
In 1972, back when people believed Reefer Madness was a reliable marijuana documentary, lawmakers were busy. They were busy introducing a ballot measure. The measure asked residents if they wanted to legalize marijuana. At that time, it didn’t pass. However, later, the Golden State became one of the first US jurisdictions to green-light medical marijuana in 1996.
Twenty years later, Californians voted in favor of Proposition 64. Californias were excited when it passed. Finally, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act legalized the use of cannabis recreationally.
Medical Marijuana in California
California has long had a medical marijuana program. But you must get a California medical marijuana card to participate.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California
Getting a medical marijuana identification card or an MMIC is a straightforward process.
First, secure a doctor’s recommendation. California is full of doctors who specifically work with people who need MMICs.
You have various options when it comes to finding a doctor:
- Ask your primary physician for a referral
- Do research and find a doctor on your own
- Find out if your insurance covers the appointment
Once you have a recommendation from a doctor, it’s time to apply for a California medical marijuana card. You can do this at your county’s health department.
Getting Your MMIC
To get the card, you must go in person. Don’t forget to bring your doctor’s note, valid ID, and proof of residency. You’ll need all these documents to get a card.
The department will take a picture of you for the card when you go. After submitting the forms, the department has 30 days to process your application. It’s rare for someone to be denied, but they will send a letter explaining the decision if you are. Otherwise, watch for your MMIC in the mail.
Rules for Selling Recreational Weed in California
Opening a licensed cannabis dispensary in California isn’t cheap. You must have a permit issued by the Department of California Cannabis Control. Otherwise, it’s illegal to sell marijuana. Note, however, that gifting weed to friends and family can be done without a license. You get more of the scoop on the Department of Cannabis Control’s website.
Depending on where you want to open a dispensary, startup costs will run you between $80,000 and $250,000. Plus, you must comply with strenuous tax remittance rules. Monthly operating expenses typically fall between $30,000 and $70,000.
So, if you decide to move forward with having a dispensary, make sure you know what you’re getting into. It may be a profitable venture for you, but you must take the proper steps to ensure that it is.
Rules for Consuming Legal Weed in California
People dream of coming to California, finding a great park, and lighting up in the sunshine. But, unfortunately, consuming cannabis in public is against the law! Smoke marijuana, and it can fetch fines between $100 and $250. It may be higher if you’re within 1,000 feet of a daycare facility.
However, event organizers can get temporary licenses so attendees can smoke marijuana openly. For example, you can buy and smoke cannabis products at the Outside Lands Music and Art Festival in San Francisco.
Employers can drug test for weed and fire people over positive results. Lawmakers are working on a bill that disallows cannabis-related employment discrimination. But for now, the bill has yet to pass.
There are many more rules to be aware of, so do your research before traveling. For one, individuals can legally possess 28.5 grams of marijuana — a little over an ounce.
If you enjoy consuming pot or need it for medical reasons, California is an excellent state in which to live. The majority of politicians are pro-cannabis — as is its citizenry.
If you visit California, make sure you’re well-versed in the law. If you’re not, you may get fined.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, to have a positive cannabis experience, follow the proper steps. Then, you’ll be able to use cannabis for an array of health benefits and more.