Marijuana is legal in California

What are the laws?

Recreational marijuana became legal in California on January 1, 2018. This step has drawn a lot of attention, raising controversial opinions from citizens and government officials. Additionally, it raises numerous questions regarding the effects these new laws may have on the state, the citizens, and how this will impact the chain of growers, manufacturers, testing laboratories, distributors, dispensaries and delivery services.

Currently, amendments to the law resemble restrictions on alcohol sales – it will still be illegal for Californians to:

  • Sell marijuana (You could face up to 6 months incarceration and a 500.00 fine. Sales to minors can be up to 7 years incarceration).
  • Posses marijuana with the intent to sell more than 28 grams (You could face up to 6 months incarceration and a 500.00 fine).
  • Use or buy if you are under 21 (You could face up to 10 days incarceration and a fine up to $250.00).
  • Consume cannabis in public (You could be fined up to $250.00).
  • Possess more than an ounce (You could face up to 6 months incarceration and a fine up to $500.00).
  • Drive under influence of cannabis (In the state of California, driving while under the effect of any drug is concidered a DUI. However, authorities must prove that the chemical ingested diminished the ability to drive).
  • Drive with opened package of marijuana

Individuals will be allowed to grow no more than 6 plants per household. The only exception can be made for the people who have a medical marijuana card.

Employers are still empowered to test their employees for marijuana, if they want, and suspend their working process. Some employers, e.g. federal agencies or transportation workers, are even required to do so.

Growing and selling marijuana previously, belonged in the black and grey markets, now, they will be coming out of the shadow. However, the process of legalization for the cannabis industry is multi-staged. To obtain a license, businesses will have to register with the Secretary of the State (sole proprietors are excluuded), get permitted by city authorities, and licensed by the State Burau of Cannabis Control.

Licensing is required for:

  • Growers
  • Manufacturers
  • Distributers
  • Testing Laboratories
  • Event Organizers
  • Dispensaries
  • Delivery Services

Many individuals prefer marijuana sold from licensed dispensaries for a couple of reasons.

  • Licensed retailers sell marijuana that has been certified by licensed testing laboratories for its purity, pesticides, molds, THC, CBD a and other active compounds.
  • Products are labeled with precise levels of THC, and CBD.
  • Retailers offer a wide range of different products, including smoking, vaping, edibles and tinctures.

Consumers will be able to check whether a company is licensed through the following online databases:


Properly licensed businesses will face tax obligations, including federal tax, state income tax, state payroll and property taxes. For the state of California this new legislation is expected to bring in substantial tax revenue.