Since legalizing cannabis in 2016 it has been possible to buy recreational cannabis legally in California. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalized marijuana making it legal to buy cannabis and cannabis products without the need for a medical marijuana identification card.
Prior to this Californias medical marijuana laws allowed medical patients and their primary caregivers to buy legal cannabis or grow their own cannabis plants but medical cards were needed to prove they had a doctor’s recommendation and the weed was for medicinal use.
Since the passing of the act into state law, adults over the age of 21 are allowed to cultivate, possess and consume recreational weed with possession limits set at one ounce of cannabis or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, and cultivation limited to six plants. There are still strict rules around consumption, protecting children and transporting cannabis, especially over state lines, but cannabis can now be consumed for recreation without breaking the state laws.
And any adult who is a resident of California can purchase recreational cannabis legally from licensed dispensaries providing they have their state id cards and do not need specific medial cards. California even opened America’s first cannabis cafe being the first restaurant in the United States where weed can be openly consumed. However, there are two types of licensed dispensaries and not all are able to sell weed to recreational customers.
As well as purchasing dispensary California residents can have weed delivered to their doorstep. Curbside cannabis delivery can be a convenient way to buy recreational and medical cannabis, especially in cities and counties where there are fewer dispensaries, as the local government still have the final say as to whether or not they allow cannabis to be sold.
Once you have bought your legal weed you also have to be careful where you consume cannabis. While it may be possible to legally purchase marijuana in California marijuana laws do not allow residents to consume in public spaces, meaning that legal smoking can only happen in private homes or specially licensed smoking areas.
Regulation of the Cannabis Industry
The Bureau of Cannabis Control is the lead agency responsible for regulating the cannabis industry for both medical and recreational cannabis. They are responsible for issuing the licenses needed to be a medical or recreational dispensary, as well as licensing distributors, testing laboratories and temporary cannabis events.
Legal recreational marijuana can only be purchased from a licensed dispensary that has been specifically granted the license to sell recreational marijuana. However, there are many more marijuana dispensaries licensed to sell medical marijuana and it is therefore much easier to buy legal weed with a medical marijuana card.
Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card
Prior to legalizing cannabis for recreational use, California legalized marijuana for medicinal use with the passing of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. This act permitted doctors to recommend medical cannabis use to patients in California with a qualifying condition.
The change in cannabis regulations not only allowed doctors to recommend cannabis and CBD products to medical patients but also gave patients the right to grow cannabis plants, possess dried cannabis or and buy marijuana legally.
Access to medical marijuana is largely controlled by the California Department of Public Health’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program. This medical marijuana program requires voluntary registration by medical marijuana patients and their primary caregivers allowing law enforcement easy verification of patients and primary caregivers right to grow, possess, transport and use under California medical marijuana law.
Only a doctors recommendation letter is required to buy marijuana. Medical marijuana recommendations from licensed physicians are available online in minutes. There are many qualifying conditions that would allow you to consumer medicinal cannabis in California including chronic pain, anxiety disorders, seizures, nausea and loss of appetite, migraine, arthritis, insomnia and many inflammatory conditions.
Applying for a marijuana recommendation is a simple process which will give you a letter you can use alongside your state identification card to access Californias medical cannabis dispensaries. As well as a letter you can also purchase a laminated marijuana card. This is not the same as a medical marijuana id card issued by the departments of public health.
As well as giving access to a higher number of retail outlets, having a medical marijuana id card will also save you money as medicinal cannabis is exempt from certain taxes, saving you between 20 and 40% on your purchases. Start saving by applying for a medical marijuana card online today.
On top of better access and lower taxation medical marijuana users are also entitled to possess and cultivate larger quantities of cannabis than recreational users. A patient with a doctors recommendation can carry up to 8 ounces and grow up to 12 plants, with the option to apply for a growers recommendation and grow up to 99 plants.
Things to Watch Out For
Although you can buy legal weed in California, California cannabis laws are still fairly strict as to where legal weed can be consumed and how it can be transported.
Cannabis regulations state that it is illegal to smoke, vape or otherwise consume in public spaces, within a certain radius of schools and in vehicles. This essentially limits use to private homes and specially licensed premises.
Traveling with an open container of weed is also not legal in California and neither is crossing state lines, even if you are traveling to another state where cannabis is legal.
It is also worth noting that federal cannabis laws cannot be over-ridden by state laws, meaning that although there is a legal recreational market under local law it is still strictly prohibited to possess or sell cannabis in California under state law. However, the federal government has tended to take a fairly relaxed approach providing certain criteria are met.
If you need a marijuana recommendation you can apply for your medical marijuana identification card online today and get approval in minutes. Having a doctors recommendation makes it easier to buy legal cannabis as you have access to medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries.