California Marijuana Laws Explained

January 3, 2019



The first state to legalize marijuana for medical use was California. In 1996, voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, and over the past two decades, it has seen a lot of changes and structure within its cannabis laws. In 2016, voters finally got the Adult Use of Marijuana Act passed for recreational cannabis. California Marijuana rules and regulations have a significant influence on how other states regulate and control cannabis for their medical and recreational sales. 

They have set the stage for what is now a multi-billion dollar industry and something that voters in the United States say was long overdue. Here are the current California marijuana laws: 

Valid State Identification 

Anyone with a valid ID that proves they are 21 or older, can buy cannabis at licensed shops as easy as buying liquor at a store. What this means, a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis will not be required in order to purchase cannabis. Consumers can buy up to one ounce of cannabis, and buying it with an out-of-state license is legal and accepted at all cannabis stores. 

Quality Control Standards 

All cannabis products sold in California has to be tested for purity, molds, pesticides, and other contaminants. They are also tested for potency as well as having labels that state the level of CBD, THC, and other active compounds. The state has also placed limits on how much THC/CBD can be in some cannabis products. 

Public Consumption 

The state law says that no one can legally consume cannabis in public areas, including public smoking areas designated for cigarettes. It’s illegal to smoke cannabis in bars, parks or on the streets. If you’re caught smoking cannabis in public areas, a fine of $100 to $250 will be imposed. It’s legal to smoke cannabis on private property or in a residence; however, a few cities have cannabis lounges where you can relax and smoke. 

Driving With Cannabis 

The same rules apply to driving with cannabis as it does with alcohol. It’s illegal to have an open container that is accessible when you’re driving in a vehicle. What this means, leave your cannabis in the sealed package from the store until you get home. Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal; however, it’s a little harder for an o