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California Marijuana Laws

Is Marijuana Legal in California?

Updated August 2019

When it comes to cannabis legislation, California is one of the progressive states in the United States. It was the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana 20 years ago and in recent years voters approved a measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Learn more about California marijuana laws below.

Recreational Marijuana in California

Is marijuana legal in California? Yes– Voters passed Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana in California in November 2016. The legal sale of recreational marijuana began in California on January 1, 2018. Under Proposition 64, adults aged 21 years and older can legally possess and use up to 28.5 grams (roughly 1 ounce) of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana for recreational purposes. Adults are also allowed to cultivate up to six plants. Smoking is permitted in a private home, but remains illegal to use while driving a vehicle or when in public places.

Medical Marijuana in California

Ballot Proposition 215 received 56% ‘yes’ votes in November 1996, making California the very first state to legalize medical marijuana. Cannabis for medical purposes is legal for any patient with either a written or oral recommendation from a physician stating that they will benefit from medical marijuana. Medical marijuana cards can be acquired through the California Department of Public Health, but are not required to purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary.

Patients can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana for any of the following conditions:

  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe nausea
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Migraine
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms, including those associated with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Seizures, including those associated with Epilepsy

California also allows medical marijuana for any chronic or persistent medical symptoms.

Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in California

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.

Cultivation of Cannabis in California

Adults 21 and older can cultivate up to 6 plants for recreational purposes, under Proposition 64. California’s medical marijuana law allows qualified patients and their primary caregivers to cultivate 6 mature of 12 immature plants for medicinal reasons.

Legal Status of Other U.S. States

Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.

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