When Can You Start to Legally Buy Weed in California?
The deets on what Proposition 64 means for Californians.
Published on November 10, 2016

Californians voted “Yes” on recreational marijuana, effectively ending prohibition in California on November 8, 2016. Understanding your rights is key to living within the boundaries of legality.

Five states considered recreational marijuana that day, but no initiative was scrutinized more than Proposition 64. Why is it so significant? Proposition 64 legalized marijuana in a state with the 6th largest economy in the world. To put it in perspective, that's a larger economy than France. California also has a population comparable to entire nation of Brazil with 758,607 registered medical marijuana patients as of March 2016. Proposition 64 has been called a tipping point, but here's what that means for you:

What begins Now:

- Adults 21 and over can legally consume and grow marijuana. Adults can legally possess up to an ounce of flowers or up to eight grams of concentrate.

- Adults 21 and over can legally grow six plants in an enclosed area or indoors. Local county laws still have the right to ban outdoor growing and limit indoor growing.

What begins January 1, 2018:

-Since the Bureau of Marijuana Control has until January 1, 2018 to issue several different types of licenses, recreational won't begin until then.

-As businesses won't be licensed until January 1, 2018, recreational stores will not open until that date.

-Proposition 64 imposes a 15 percent excise tax at the point of sale. Medical marijuana users will have to pay the new tax as well on medicinal products. Those who want to buy marijuana now can do so, but only as a medical marijuana patient until January 1, 2018.

What stays the same?

- Adults possessing more than an ounce of marijuana will continue to face a $100 infraction for marijuana possession. Adults 18 to 21 will also receive the $100 infraction for possession of marijuana and minors under 18 will continue to receive counseling or community service to avoid a fine.

- Marijuana is still illegal under federal law despite gains the industry made in 2013 when United States Justice Department vowed to ignore marijuana businesses.

Benjamin M. Adams
Benjamin Adams is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a slew of publications including CULTURE, Cannabis Now Magazine, and Vice. Follow Ben on Twitter @BenBot11
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