New California Marijuana Laws

New Year’s Day 2018 meant that Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act or Proposition 64 is now in effect. In layman’s terms, cannabis for recreational use for anyone 21 and older has now been legalized. Adults can grow as many as six plants and possess up to an ounce or eight grams of concentrate. The following brief overview provides more information on what you need to know.

Marijuana Regulation in California

The sale of marijuana will be regulated by the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control. Interested retailers will need a license in order to sell the product. In the meantime, the agency will offer four-month temporary licenses.

Corner Shops

Shops will look less like dispensaries and more like boutiques in order to accommodate the changing wishes of consumers.

Medical vs. Adult Use Marijuana

Although legally there is not a distinction between medical and recreational marijuana use, licensing will be labeled as ‘A’ or ‘M,’ depending on the type of use. Businesses can also obtain dual licenses. Those younger than 21 should still keep their medical marijuana card in order to continue legal use. Additionally, different strains of marijuana vary in their effectiveness at alleviating muscle spasms or chronic pain.


Taxes for recreational marijuana use can run as high as nearly 25 percent or even higher, although medical marijuana use is exempt from some taxes. California looks forward to an additional $1 billion in revenue due to marijuana sales.

Fair Market

The director of the L.A. Department of Cannabis Regulation has proposed excluding sellers with prior convictions from licensing approval. The agency will likely offer education via training programs and consulting, legal and financial services.


Agencies will save money by no longer enforcing marijuana legislation, and users will not need to pay legal fees.

Public Consumption

Like alcohol laws regarding public consumption, marijuana use faces similar restrictions. In other words, you can’t get high in public.

Fines and Penalties

Open container laws — yet to be defined — can be as high as $250. Smoking the drug will driving earns the offender a $70 fine. Smoking in public comes with a $100 fine, which can increase to $250 at restaurants or offices. Selling the drug without a license carries penalties of up to six months in jail, fines as high as $500 or both.

New regulations surrounding marijuana can confuse even the savviest person. If you have questions on how these laws might affect you, call our office today.

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