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California Marijuana Laws In 2021 Explained

Illinois cannabis laws 2020
Illinois Cannabis Laws In 2021
April 5, 2020

California Marijuana Laws In 2021 Explained

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. And, in 2016 it decriminalized recreational marijuana with proposition 64 passed. Since the legalization of marijuana, the cannabis industry has been at an all-time boom!

Is Weed Legal In California? Hell Yea!

California Marijuana Laws are now friendly, and have allowed a huge demand to become commercialized legally.  Entrepreneurs, and avid users all want to get their foot into the cannabis industry. So, in this article, we will cover all you need to know about cannabis laws and regulations in California. We will show you the history of California cannabis laws and the most up to date for 2020.

California Cannabis Laws For Adult Use

california cannabis laws 2020

Recreational Cannabis Purchases Require ID From An Adult 21 Years Or Older

Cannabis is legal in California for recreational use for adults 21 years and over thanks to proposition 64. Its possible to buy cannabis with a medical card approved by a physician. Those under the age of 18 need permission from their parents or guardians and a medical doctor's approval. There are many new and California Cannabis laws that favor this once illegal plant.

In the state of California, it is legal to purchase and consume both medical and recreational marijuana. But, just because weed is legal in California, doesn’t mean you can get a fine or penalty for using it! So before you take a stroll down Hollywood boulevard to pick up that weed, make sure you know the main prohibited acts. Its important to follow California cannabis laws to avoid getting in trouble with the law. Below is a list of the most important weed laws in California.

28.5 Grams Max Amount Of Cannabis Limit On Person

california weed amount limit
  • Don’t go past 28.5 grams! Remember, the AUMA states that avid marijuana users can only possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana at a single instance. If you choose to go over this limit, then you can face up to $500 in fines and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months. There is also a limit of 8 grams of cannabis concentrate such as shatter and THC cartridges.
  • how much weed can you buy for medical users in calfornia
  • Medical cannabis users can buy up to 8 ounces of marijuana a day in California.

How Many Cannabis Plants Can You Grow In California?


Well according to proposition 64, cannabis users are allowed to cultivate cannabis plants, so as long as it’s for their personal use. If you would like to cultivate your marijuana plants, then here’s what you need to know!

  • You are allowed to cultivate no more than 6 cannabis plants! All cultivation, drying,processing, or harvesting must be done on private grounds.
  • Finally, users must cultivate their cannabis plants away from the public eye. So, all cultivated cannabis must not be visible and must be in a locked/enclosed space.

Do Not Drive With Open Containers Of Cannabis Products

open container weed law for california and driving

Do not drive around California with any cannabis products inside of your car that has been opened, and the sealed broken. This includes THC oil cartridges, edibles, and of course cannabis itself. If your caught driving with a blunt that has been smoked previously, this is the same as having an open container and can result in a sobriety test and a $250 fine.

Can Not Smoke Cannabis In Public Places In Cali

  • Under proposition 64. You are not allowed to use cannabis in any form in any public space. However, you can use cannabis should it be in a state-licensed place. So, what happens if you decide to smoke some pot in the supermarket? Well, could be fined a total of $100. 

Distance From Youth

  • Proposition 64 dictates that users cannot smoke, consume, or use any form of cannabis within 1,000 feet of any childcare facility. This includes daycares, Youth centres, schools, and playgrounds. In addition to this law, you are not allowed to possess cannabis on you when in schools and youth centres. 

Illegal To Sale Cannabis Without License In California

california weed law 2020
  • Just because it’s legal, does not mean you can sell it! In the state of California, it is illegal to sell marijuana. In particular, it is illegal to sell marijuana to minors or anyone if you do not hold a state license. If you choose to sell marijuana you may be fined up to $500 and can face up to 6 months in prison.

Driving While Smoking Cannabis Is Not Allowed In California

  • You can’t drive while high: It comes with no surprise that California has made it illegal to drive while high. Now, it is important to remember that passengers (those who are not driving) are also not allowed to carry or use cannabis while in a car. That being said, there are exceptions to the rule. If you hold a government issued ID for the possession of medical marijuana then you can posses cannabis in a sealed container if in a car.

Illegal To Manufacturer Cannabis Concentrates And Sell Them

cannabis concentrate vape
  • Be careful when it comes to making concentrates: California Cannabis laws do not allow the manufacture of cannabis concentrates with a volatile solvent. The penalty for choosing to manufacture concentrates will depend on the solvent used. For example, choosing to manufacture concentrates can result in jail time and a fine. The black market for cannabis extracted oil cartridges in California is huge.

California Marijuana Laws: Here’s What you Need to Know!

If you’re interested in learning more about California Cannabis laws then you have come to the right place. The state of California is infamously one of the first states in the USA that had legalized medical cannabis use. But, it doesn’t stop there! Today, thanks to the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act ( MAUCRSA) marijuana euthanasia can use weed recreationally. This page is dedicated to staying updated on the latest cannabis laws for California in 2020.

Cannabis Weed Laws Regulations for Medical Use

In 1996 California approved Proposition 215 (also known as the Compassionate Use Act), this proposition dictates that citizens of the United States are permitted to cannabis for medicinal reasons. The proposition dictates the following:
  • A patient requiring medical cannabis must own a state-issued identification card
  • Proposition 215 states that medical marijuana can be possessed or cultivated only by approved caregivers and users.
  • Those patients with a state-issued identification card can only possess no more than 8 ounces of dried cannabis. 
  If you are a physician who intends on supplying medical pot to a patient. It is crucial to know and understand how proposition 215 protects you and what the protocols for medicinal marijuana are. According to the proposition:
  • A physician may provide medical cannabis to a US patient who has been diagnosed with anorexia, AIDS, cancer, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, and/or any other illness which marijauana may be useful for.

Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in California? Heck Yes!

california recreational law

If you enjoying smoking marijuana, then worry not! The recreational use of marijuana became legal on November 8th, 2016 in California. Now, before you choose to bring out those bongs in public, it’s important to know the laws, regulations, and rights as a Californian citizen. The California cannabis laws are very dynamic, and we list the most updated for 2020 here.

Summarizing California Cannabis Laws: The Propositions and Laws which Protect you

As a California citizen, it is important to know what propositions and laws protect you. As well, you will need to be aware of what you can and cannot do when it comes to using recreational marijuana. Below, we have discussed the major California marijuana laws and regulations protecting Californians. 

Proposition 215 A.K.A The Compassionate Use Act of 1996

As mentioned above, proposition 215 dictates that people who intend on using marijuana for medical reasons may do so. However, a patient can only purchase, use, and cultivate medical cannabis if they were recommended by a state-licensed physician. If you would like to use medical weed, then here’s what you need to know!

  • Minors, those below the age of 18, are permitted to use medical pot (under parental approval).
  • Minors, those below the age of 18, are not permitted to use recreational marijuana.
  • Patients who would like to use medical cannabis will require a state medical cannabis ID card. This card will exempt patients from sales tax.
  • Finally, if you are under the age of 18 years old, then you can only purchase medical marijuana from state-licensed medical dispensaries. However, if you are above the age of 18 years old, you are permitted to purchased medical weed from adult-use dispensaries.

Medical Marijuana Program Act A.K.A Senate Bill 420

california medical cannabis laws

One important fact to note is that proposition 215 is fairly vague when it comes to establishing patient rights to own and transport medical marijuana. Proposition 215, simply recognizes cannabis for its medical benefits, but it does not state how much a patient can own and cultivate. The Senate bill 420 was seemingly designed to cover aspects proposition 215 may have overlooked. Senate bill 420:

  • Decriminalizes medical marijuana and implements a voluntary card system. This ensures the rights of both patients and doctors remain well protected.
  • Allows primary caregivers to receive a state-licensed ID card and additional compensation for services.
  • It dictates that patients can possess no more than 6 mature or 12 immature cannabis plants at a single time. 

Proposition 64 A.K.A The Adult Use of Marijuana Act 

It was just a matter of time that California cannabis laws would catch up to others for recreational use. On November 8th, 2016 Californians rejoiced as proposition 64 passed. Proposition 64 aka The Adult Use of Marijuana Act dictates that citizens of California are permitted to possess, consume, purchase, share, and even transport recreational cannabis. According to proposition 64:

  • You can only own 28.5 grams ( 1 ounce) of marijuana at a single time. If you do own any more than an ounce, then it must be kept locked away in your home. 
  • You are not allowed to smoke marijuana in public spaces. Although recreational use has been legalized, employers are permitted to maintain a drug-free status at the workplace. So, an employer is allowed to reject marijuana at the workplace. 
  • Recreational users are permitted to grow marijuana from their homes. However, you are not allowed to sell your grown cannabis.
  • Although recreational marijuana is legal, it is illegal for users to attempt to make their own concentrated cannabis at home. 

Thinking of Buying Weed in California? Know the California Cannabis Regulations 

California cannabis sales tax

The new friendly California marijuana laws come with some taxes. As marijuana is now legal in the state of California, users need to be aware of any sales tax which may apply to them. In the state of California, there are two different types of taxes placed on cannabis. The first is a weight tax and the second is an excise tax on retail goods. This translates to the following:

  • Cultivators (those who grow their own cannabis) may pay up to $9.25 per ounce for flowers only. However, this differs for leaves, as the tax rate if $2.75 per ounce 
  • California has a 15% excise tax regulation on cannabis and cannabis based products. 

Cultivators Tax

Cultivators of cannabis are required to pay a cultivators tax which is based on the weight of the leaves and flowers harvested. In addition to this tax, cannabis cultivators in California will be responsible for collecting any excise tax (15%) from retailers.  Now as of January 1st 2020, the cultivators tax will increase to reflect the inflation market for marijuana. The new tax rates will be implemented into California marijuana laws:

  •  $9.65 per ounce for  dried flowers (earlier $9.25)
  • $2.87 per ounce for dried leaves (earlier $2.75)
  • $1.35 per fresh plant (earlier $1.29)

Frequently Asked California Marijuana Law Questions!

Alright, so now that we have familiarized ourselves with the California marijuana laws and regulations, let’s answer and summarize some of your burning questions. 

How Much Marijuana Can I Legally Have At Once In California?

Remember Proposition 64 states that users must be over 21 years of age to own, use, transport, or even buy recreational cannabis. So, if you are over 21 years of age, you are legally allowed to own 28.5 grams of cannabis! This works out to about 1 ounce. Now, if you are someone who prefers concentrated cannabis, then the rules change! In such a case you are allowed to possess 4 grams of concentrated cannabis.

A Progressive Movement: Changes to the California Cannabis Regulations 

The state of California, is currently in progress of changing and establishing new regulations when it comes to using marijuana. Much of these new laws have come into act as of January 1st 2020, if you are interested in learning more about each change, then we recommend checking out the California Legislative Information website. 

Pot, hash, marijuana—whatever you call it! It comes with no surprise that the cannabis industry in California is at an all time high. The California cannabis laws are friendlier than ever before, and has caused a surge in tourism. And as the industry continues to flourish, government officials will continue to place various laws and regulations in place to help the economy. So, before you choose to smoke or use cannabis in California, make sure you familiarize yourself with all the laws and regulations that protect you.

Assembly Bill 34: Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary Act

When it comes to the medicinal benefits of cannabis, there’s no doubt about it, cannabis truly can be a life changing therapeutic drug. That being said, the state of California and authorized retailers do recognize that not everyone is privileged enough to afford the luxury of buying medical cannabis. And so, on January 1st 2020, the Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary Act came into action among the many new California marijuana laws.

This act dictates that authorized retailers are allowed to donate medical marijuana to people (i.e.veterans or low-income individuals) who are unable to afford medical marijuana. This act dictates that donation of cannabis products may be carried out by both retailers and licensed compassionate care programs



  1. B. Griffin says:

    What are the laws regarding nonresidents in California? I have a medical marijuana card from my state of residence . Can I poses medical marijuana or liquid cantinas? If it is legal what are the laws about possession?

    • Hi B.Griffin
      Tourists can legally purchase cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary. Most dispensaries will only take cash, so be sure to keep some in hand. In addition, you will need to provide evidence of age and identification. That state recommended a government form of ID such as a driver’s license.

      In regards to medical marijuana, contact your local physician for more information.

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