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CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA LAWS IN 2021

CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA LAWS IN 2021

In 2016, California passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).  This law essentially legalized the nonmedical use of marijuana for persons over 21 years old, and all allowed the personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants per household.

CAN A PERSON OVER 21 LEGALLY GET HIGH IN THEIR OWN HOME NOW?

Yes.

Persons 21 years and older can possess, process, purchase, obtain, or give away, without compensation, up to one ounce of marijuana or eight (8) grams of concentrated cannabis (hash.) (Health and Safety (H&S)Code §11362.1) 

The AUMA prohibits smoking marijuana:

  • In any public place (unless waived for businesses)
  • Where smoking tobacco is prohibited
  • Within 1000 feet of a school, daycare center, or youth center while children are present; and
  • While driving or riding in the passenger seat of any vehicle used for transportation. (H&S §11362.3-11362.4)

CAN YOUR EMPLOYER PREVENT YOU FROM BRINGING POT TO WORK?

Yes.

The AUMA also allows each municipality (city) to prohibit possession and ingestion in buildings owned by the city and to allow ether to maintain a drug-free workplace by allowing the prohibition of use, consumption, transfer, transportation, sale, display, or growth of marijuana in the workplace (H&S 11362.45(f-g))

IS IT LEGAL TO SELL MARIJUANA COMMERCIALLY IN CALIFORNIA?

Yes, but it is highly regulated and taxed.

The AUMA regulates and licenses the commercial, non-medical production, cultivation, testing, manufacturing, and distribution.  All non-medical marijuana businesses must have a state license to operate, valid for a year (Business and Professions Code 26505(c).)

CAN STATE OR MUNICIPAL LAW PREVENT ME FROM GROWING MY OWN MARIJUANA FOR PERSONAL USE?

No.  Cities can control, regulate, or even prohibit commercial cultivation. Still, the local government cannot prohibit the personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants within a person's private residence (H&S11362.1(a)(3).  A private residence is defined as a house, apartment unit, mobile home, or similar dwelling (H&S 11362.2(b)(5).  Indoor cultivation is also allowed, providing it is fully enclosed, secure, and not visible from a public place (H&S 11362.2(a)(2).)

WHAT IF I PERSONALLY CULTIVATE MORE THAN AN OZ OF POT?

All marijuana over 28.5 grams must be kept in a locked space on the private residence grounds and not visible from a public place (HS 11362.2(a).)

WHAT HAPPENED TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES AND LEGISLATION?

In June 2017, the governor of California signed SB94 into law, merging the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) and AUMA, creating a system for regulating cannabis laws in California called the Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) (Business and Professions Code 26000.)

WHY ARE TAXES ON MARIJUANA SO HIGH?

California passed Revenue and Taxation Code 34010 et seq. in 2018, creating two state sales taxes applicable to both medical and adult-use cannabis.  Basically, there is a 15% excise tax imposed on purchasers of cannabis products and a per ounce cultivation tax for the commercial market.

IS MARIJUANA STILL ILLEGAL UNDER FEDERAL LAW?

Yes. 

As of this date (February 2021), the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) 21 USC 801 et seq) possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana are illegal.  There is no medical necessity defense available in the federal system.

Federal officials may enforce federal law notwithstanding a validly issued medical prescription.  Federal law is implicated by the Commerce Clause, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and the Equal Protection clause.

For over 25 years, I have represented good people charged with possession, cultivation, transportation, and sales of marijuana in Vista, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, and throughout San Diego and California.

Call 760 643 4025 for a free consultation and aggressive defense of Marijuana and Drug Crimes.

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