Marijuana Laws in California
As written in an article on lamag.com, by Jessica P. Ogilvie, Your Guide to California’s New Recreational Marijuana Rules, on January 1, 2018, the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act will come into full effect. This is Prop 64 that was passed by California voters on November 2016 which legalizes Adult-Use cannabis for any person who is 21 years of age or older.
This law allows for cannabis possession, transporting and sharing up to an ounce of cannabis and eight ounces of cannabis concentrate, as well as growing up to six plants at home.
Here are some highlights of the rules that will go into effect on January 1:
1-Retailers need to have a dispensary license issued by the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (formerly known as the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation) as well as permission from local authorities to operate. Therapeutic Healthcare Collective is currently a licensed dispensary with Santa Cruz County and has applied for the CA State Cannabis Temporary License for both Adult-Use and Medical.
2-Beginning with cultivation, cannabis will be handed with either an A for adult-use or an M for medical use, and all businesses involved in the cannabis industry will receive an A license or an M license; retailers have the option of being dual licensees. People with a medical card should hang onto it because medical marijuana will still be available to patients 18 and older.
3-Medical patients with a VALID CA State Medical Cannabis Card will be exempt from paying the CA sales Tax. Please click here for more information on the Sales tax exemption and to see an example of the CA State Medical Cannabis Card from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
4- All cannabis products will have a 15% excise tax added to the retail price. Depending on which city or county you live in, there could also be a local cannabis business tax and the CA State Sales Tax. Therapeutic Healthcare Collective will be adding the 15% excise tax to the retail price of the cannabis product and also add the CA sales tax of 8.5% for Santa Cruz County at checkout. The Santa Cruz County Business tax of 7% will be paid by the business and not the medical cannabis patient or Adult-Use customer.
5-Just like no drinking alcohol in public spaces such as parks, you won’t be able to smoke cannabis in those areas either.
6-As of November 9, 2016, the fine for driving with an open cannabis “container” (what defines a container is anybody’s guess) is up to $250. In September 2017, Governor Brown took it a step further by signing a bill that specifies a $70 fine for smoking or consuming marijuana while driving. And those people you see vaping on the sidewalk? They are indeed breaking the law. Smoking in public carries a $100 fine that jumps to $250 for smoking in places where tobacco is banned (think: restaurants and offices, in front of certain buildings). Selling weed without a license or having more than the allowable amount of cannabis carries a penalty of $500, six months in jail, or both. Finally, anyone caught selling to a minor can be sentenced from three to seven years.
View the full article on Prop 64 here.