A Guide to California Cannabis Laws

For a state with easy medical and recreational access to cannabis, look no further than California. CA was the very first state to legalize medical cannabis, and although it’s one of the most recent recreational marijuana legal states, that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a go-to spot for weed lovers.

California is actually the most popular state for cannabis users. Statistics show that California makes more money in pot sales than any other state, with a booming $2.75 billion cannabis industry. Even more interestingly, recreational cannabis was only legalized in California earlier this year, showing just how strong the medical marijuana industry in the Golden State is.

Buying cannabis in California is easier than ever, you can get it safely and legally either online or in a dispensary. Many citizens are also able to grow their own cannabis. However, there are still some important legal restrictions you must be aware of. Here’s a guide to California Marijuana Laws.

Legal Cannabis Age In California

California marijuana laws state that you must be 21 or over to purchase and possess cannabis. Recreational dispensaries are open across the state, as are online stores. All you need in order to buy is a valid I.D. from any state to prove your age

Adults 21 and over can possess up to 28.5 grams of cannabis or 8 grams of concentrates. Those under the legal age charged with possession can face serious criminal charges.

However, adults aged 18 to 21 can legally possess cannabis providing they have medical clearance. You can obtain a Medical Marijuana Card from the age of 18 in California. These are given to patients experiencing anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and other serious health problems that limit their quality of life. Medical Marijuana Cards allow you to buy cannabis legally from recreational and medical dispensaries, as well as online.

Marijuana Possession Limits In California

While purchasing weed is simple in California, it’s important that you stay within the legal possession limits set by state laws.

California marijuana laws allow you to possess up to an ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis or 8 grams of cannabis concentrates, providing you’re 21 years of age or above.

There are looser restrictions on medical cannabis use. Medical marijuana patients are able to possess higher amounts, usually up to 8 ounces, if they have a physician’s recommendation.

California Marijuana Growing Laws

california cannabis growing laws

Growing your own cannabis is also legal in California. You must be 21 years of age (or 18 with a Medical Card) in order to grow your own weed. Seeds are available for sale online and in dispensaries, making it easy to grow and cultivate your own marijuana.

Both recreational and medical users can possess, plant, and cultivate up to six cannabis plants in their home. These must be kept private and out of public view. You’re legally able to keep all of your harvested produce, providing you also keep this stored privately in your own home.

California’s weather makes for perfect outdoor growing conditions. However, there are some restrictions on outdoor growing depending on where you’re located. Local governments are able to set their own laws on growing, so you need to ensure it’s allowed in your area before you grow. You can use the OC Register’s Database to find out your local growing laws.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in California Legally?

Cannabis sales are widespread in California, and you should have no problem finding somewhere to buy marijuana legally. You can find local dispensaries on Google Maps or WeedMaps. Make sure you bring a state I.D. to prove your age when buying.

You can also buy marijuana and medical cannabis products online. Some online stores will provide you to collect in store, while some offer home delivery. Bear in mind you will still have to prove your age by showing your I.D. to the delivery driver or uploading a picture.

No matter what kind of cannabis you’re looking for, you can buy it legally and safely in California. Recreational stores have budtenders to help you make the right choice. Online stores allow you to browse through products and view descriptions and reviews. You can also have products delivered discreetly to your home.

Are Cannabis Concentrates Legal in California?

Many cannabis users prefer cannabis concentrates, such as hash and shatter, to regular flower product. These provide a stronger and longer-lasting high, making them more potent and offering a unique experience.

Much like regular cannabis, cannabis concentrates are legal to purchase and possess in California. However, there are separate possession laws. While you’re able to possess up to an ounce of dried cannabis, you can only possess up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates.

Due to the more potent effects of concentrates, many users still find this a more cost-effective choice.

Are Cannabis Edibles Legal in California?

It’s also legal to purchase marijuana edibles in California. These come in various forms, such as brownies, rice crispy squares, and gummies. You can find both THC edibles, which offer a potent high, and CBD edibles, which give you the medical perks of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.

Most edibles are often made with cannabis concentrates and follow the same possession laws. However, don’t worry too much about exceeding the limit. Edibles in California are limited to 100mg of THC per pack and 10mg per serving so you don’t go overboard.

If you enjoy baking, you can also create your own cannabis edibles by cooking cannabis into butter or oil.

California CBD Laws

CBD products are derived from cannabidiol, the component of marijuana that offers powerful medical benefits. These are also legal in California and highly popular thanks to their medicinal properties.

It’s legal to buy CBD Oil, CBD Edibles, CBD Topicals, and any other CBD products in California. While they’re used for medical reasons, you don’t need a medical card or prescription to buy them.

You can find CBD products in dispensaries or buy them online.

Where Can You Legally Smoke In California?

california marijuana smoking laws

In California, smoking is restricted to private areas. You can smoke on private property or in your own home, but it’s still illegal to smoke in public places.

Smoking in public is punishable by federal law. The same applies to vaping or eating marijuana edibles in public. It’s also highly illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis.

While you won’t be able to smoke in bars and restaurants, you can smoke in specialized cannabis lounges. While these are still restricted in many parts of California, some local governments allow businesses to obtain licensing for on-site marijuana consumption. These allow adults to buy and smoke marijuana on their premises.

It’s also important to note that your landlord can ban marijuana use on their property. The same applies to accommodation such as hotels and Airbnbs. Make sure you respect these restrictions to avoid any legal trouble.

Is It Legal To Sell Marijuana in California?

Selling cannabis in California is only legal for licensed businesses. Without a license, it’s illegal to sell to friends or other people and carries severe punishments, including fines and jail time.

It’s legal for adults to give away marijuana providing they don’t accept money for it. You can give away up to an ounce of cannabis or 8 grams of cannabis concentrates. This must be to another adult 21 years or older- giving cannabis to a minor is highly illegal.

If you plan to start a marijuana business in California, you must obtain a license from the California Cannabis Portal. Separate licenses are available for cultivating, manufacturing, retailing, distributing, and delivering marijuana.

Is It Legal To Take Marijuana Out Of State?

No, if you buy marijuana in California you must keep it there. Trying to take marijuana across state lines can result in federal punishment.

You can still buy weed in other legal states, but you must smoke it there and not try to transport it home. The same applies to California- if you’re traveling to another state, you can’t take your cannabis with you.

You can still transport cannabis within the state, but it must be kept in a closed, child-proof container. It must also be kept out of reach from the driver if transported in a car.

Do Jobs in California Drug Test for Cannabis?

Although recreational and medical-use marijuana is now legal in California, jobs can still drug test for cannabis. This is entirely at the discretion of the employer. While drug tests are likely to be less prevalent now, you must still adhere to restrictions if an employer chooses not to hire marijuana users.


In summary, you’re able to purchase and use marijuana in California providing you’re 21 years or older. Adults 18 years or older can also possess the same amount, providing they have a Medical Marijuana Card or approval from a physician. It’s also legal to cultivate and harvest up to six marijuana plants at a time, although these laws can vary depending on your area.

It’s still illegal to smoke in public or in a car. Marijuana must be kept out of reach while driving and driving whilst under the influence of marijuana can result in a DUI. It is, however, legal to smoke in licensed cannabis lounges.