Medical cannabis has been legal in California since 1996. If you consume cannabis for medical purposes you can get a marijuana card allowing you to buy cannabis or get a cannabis delivery from medical marijuana dispensaries. We have marijuana doctors ready to give marijuana recommendations online today.
However it is not only medical marijuana patients with medical marijuana recommendations who can purchase marijuana legally in California. Recreational cannabis is now legal in California and has been since late 2016. This means that any adult over the age of 21 can legally buy and consume recreational weed without needing a qualifying condition or a doctor’s recommendation.
So what do you need to know to legally get weed in California without a card?
Cannabis Regulations – Medical and Recreational Cannabis Laws in California
Legalizing cannabis in California happened in two stages. Medical marijuana became legal in 1996 with the passing of the Compassionate Use Act, making California the first state to have legalized marijuana for medical use. Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016 when voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).
Currently the framework for the regulation of medicinal and adult-use cannabis in California comes from the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). The purpose of this act is to regulate the commercial cannabis industry for both medical and recreational marijuana. Including dried cannabis, cannabis products and cannabis plants.
Legalized recreational marijuana can be purchased, possessed and consumed by any adult over the age of 21 providing they have state ID, stick to purchase and possession limits, and abide by other marijuana laws including only smoking in private and not crossing state lines.
Under AUMA adults over the age of 21 with valid ID are able to purchase 28.5 grams (1oz) of dried cannabis or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis per day. Adults can buy legal weed from a number of state licensed dispensaries.
Medical patients with a letter of recommendation from a licensed physician, or their nominated primary caregivers can purchase up to 8 ounces per day and are not subject to the 8 gram limit on cannabis concentrates.
It is also worth noting that adults may give away or transfer up to 1oz of dried cannabis or 8 grams of cannabis concentrate to another adult over the age of 21.
Possession limits under AUMA are the same as daily purchase limits. Adults may also possess up to 6 plants. Medicinal users have higher possession limits and can grow more plants. Medical users may grow up to 12 plants for their own use and can apply for a growers license entitling them to grow up to 99 plants providing that it is for personal consumption.
There are no clear possession limits for CBD oil or other CBD products in California.
Other Rules You Need to Be Aware Of
First up, although Cannabis has been legalized in California it is still illegal at a federal level and this means you need to proceed with caution. Crossing state lines in possession of cannabis is illegal as is being in possession or consuming cannabis on state land including national parks.
It is also worth being aware that cities and countries can have their own legislation and some choose not to allow the sale of marijuana and do not have licensed dispensaries.
Driving under the influence is obviously illegal but you are also not permitted to have an open container of cannabis in your vehicle, even if it belongs to the passenger not the driver.
And smoking is illegal in public spaces meaning you will have to find a specially licensed smoking area or consume in your own private residence.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control
The Bureau of Cannabis Control is the agency tasked with regulating both medical and recreational weed in California in accordance with the law. The role includes issuing licenses for medical or recreational dispensaries. A licensed dispensary may be able to sell to both the medical and recreational market if they have the correct license.
Legally Buying Recreational Cannabis
Buying weed in California is a fairly straight forward process although this depends slightly on where you are within the state as local law may limit the number of places you can buy marijuana.
Purchasing recreational cannabis is only legal from a recreational marijuana dispensary that is licensed to sell to adults that are not qualified medical patients. Once you have found a licensed dispensary all you need to have is an identification card. ID cards are needed for two reasons:
- To prove you are over the age of 21 as it is illegal to sell recreational cannabis to a minor.
- And to keep track of transactions and ensure you have not gone over legal purchase limits.
If you do not have an ID card you can use your driver’s license or passport. California law also doesn’t dictate that you must be a resident of the state to buy legal weed in California just that you must be able to prove you are over the age of 21.
If you don’t fancy visiting a recreational dispensary or are unable to you can also get legal weed delivered. All you need to do is find a legal recreational dispensary that delivers in your area and ensure you have payment and your ID card.
Buying Marijuana in California with a Medical Marijuana ID card
While any adult can buy recreational cannabis, patients with a variety of qualifying conditions can get a medical marijuana identification card allowing them to purchase medicinal grade cannabis from medical cannabis dispensaries and means they are covered by medical marijuana law.
Medical patients are subject to higher purchase and possession limits than recreational users. California’s medical marijuana laws allow medical marijuana card holders to purchase up to 8oz a day as opposed to 1 oz under Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Medical patients aged 18-20 are also allowed to legally buy marijuana if they have a medical cannabis card.
Medical patients and their primary caregivers can also join California’s medical marijuana identification card program. The California Departments of Public Health Medical Marijuana Identification Card program (MMICP) was set up to provide a state authorized medical marijuana identification card as well as a registry of patients and caregivers that allows law enforcement to quickly verify medical entitlement.
If you have a qualifying medical condition you can apply for a medical marijuana card online here. There are doctors waiting to talk to you and you can get results within minutes and a PDF letter of recommendation delivered straight away. This not only gives access to more dispensaries making it easier to legally get weed in California but also increases your possession and purchase limits.
On top of higher possession limits medical cannabis users are also exempt from paying cannabis sales tax which can significantly reduce the cost of the cannabis they consume.