California litigators explain legal aspects of recreational marijuana use

In November 2016, California voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use. Now, adults 21 years of age and older may use recreational marijuana regardless of medical need without facing state law repercussions.

What does this change in state law mean for you? Here’s what you need to know about using recreational marijuana in California.

1. You don’t need a medical reason to use marijuana--but you do have to be over age 21.

Like alcohol, marijuana has a legal age limit of 21 years in California. However, Proposition 64 expanded legal marijuana use to everyone 21 years old or older in California, not only to those with medical clearance to use cannabis.

2.  You can carry or grow marijuana in limited amounts (pay attention to local ordinances).

Under the new law, adults 21 and older may possess up to one ounce of marijuana buds or 8 grams of cannabis concentrates. They may also grow up to six marijuana plants. Local governments are allowed to ban outdoor cultivation, however, so check your county or city rules to determine whether or not you must grow your plants indoors.

3.  Consuming marijuana in public spaces is still prohibited.

While the new law allows adults 21 and over to consume marijuana, it sets some limits on where you are allowed to do so. Marijuana may be consumed anyplace smoking is allowed--which means it can’t be consumed in public parks, on sidewalks, or any other place smoking is banned. Breaking this rule may result in a fine of up to $250. Possession of marijuana is also banned in schools and youth centers.

Adults may, however, consume marijuana in private clubs or events that are licensed for on-site marijuana users. Find out whether an event or venue is licensed so you know what the rules are.

4.  You cannot buy recreational marijuana (yet).

Although the initiative included a system for creating retail licenses for recreational marijuana, the program is still in the implementation phase. Marijuana dispensaries catering to medical users may apply for temporary state licenses to sell recreational cannabis in 2017, but it is unlikely that stores will open for full recreational sales until 2018.

Facing a question regarding cannabis law in California? The experienced attorneys at CKB VIENNA LLP can help. We have offices in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles. Contact us by telephone at 909.980.1040 or by filling out our online contact form, whichever is more convenient for you.