Voters passed also the Adult Use of Marijuana Act in 2016. This act legalized recreational marijuana use. However, people had grown cannabis in California since 1850. They were for recreational use. It was till California prohibited cannabis use. Thus, California became the first state in 1913 prohibiting cannabis by law.
Restrictions for Cannabis Use in California
Though cannabis use is legal in California, restrictions are legal too.
For example, commercial activities are not legal in all counties and cities. Commercial activities include marijuana manufacturing, cultivation, or retail. Because there are incorporating cities. Incorporating cities have their own rules and regulations. Hence, there are cities where commercial marijuana activities are banned. The activities can also be half-banned. For example, San Bernardino completely banned commercial activities. While San Diego banned only marijuana cultivation. But this restriction is not the only one. There are general restrictions for marijuana use as well.
You can’t smoke cannabis in public places.
- Do you see “Smoking tobacco is banned”? It means smoking marijuana is also banned.
- You should make sure to be 1,000 feet away from a school or youth center. Smoking marijuana near these places is illegal.
- You can’t drive with cannabis in an open container. It should be closed. You can also keep cannabis in the truck.
- Taking cannabis out of state borders is also banned.
- You can’t smoke marijuana in federal lands. For example, you can’t smoke in national parks.
Getting California Medical Marijuana License
Currently, the Department of Public Health issues medical marijuana licenses. But each city has its own department. You should check it with your local city. Medical marijuana license is valid for up to 1 year. Both patient and primary caregiver can get the license. Getting medical marijuana license is voluntary in CA. But getting the card has many benefits. You can have the following benefits:
- You don’t need to pay taxes for buying cannabis.
- Police can’t arrest you for having an excessive amount of cannabis.
- You can buy more marijuana.
- You can also grow more plants at your home.
- Note: The last 3 benefits are valid in one case. If the doctor finds your condition needs it.
How to get a medical marijuana card?
First of all, you need a doctor’s recommendation to get a card. You can get the card if you have a qualifying condition.
After, you need to complete the application. You can find both English and Spanish versions of the application.
The next step is gathering necessary documents. The documents are the following:
You should provide a copy of your medical recommendation.
You also need to show your CA driver’s license. It can be another document issued by the government.
The residency of CA is also a must. You should prove your residency. Your name and address should be on the card.
Now, you should make an appointment to submit the documents. The local health department accepts the application. Consequently, you need to check available dates with your local department. You can submit the application only in person.
Eventually, pay the fees and wait for the approval. They will also photograph you for the card.
Usually, it takes 35 days to get a medical marijuana card. You can apply for an appeal if your application is denied. However, you will need to pay no additional fees. You should submit the Appeal Form to your local health department. But you can submit it only within 30 days after the denial.
Fees for Medical Marijuana Card
Fees for marijuana medical cards vary. It is based on counties. But the fee can’t be more than $100. Your medical card fee may also be reduced. It depends on the organizations giving you healthcare. You can also get the card completely free.
The renewal fee may also differ. It will be based on city and organization.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana
There are also qualifying conditions. They are necessary to get a medical marijuana card. The qualifying conditions are the following:
- Severe nausea
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain
Besides, doctors have a right to permit marijuana in some cases. For instance, if medical symptoms keep you from doing life activities. Symptoms can also cause you physical or mental health problems.
Medical Marijuana Restrictions in CA
There are medical marijuana restrictions in CA. Moreover, restrictions can vary from city to city. There are cities when the law is really strict. You can check your city web pages for more information.
Anyways, there are some general laws to consider. For example, patients should be, at least, 18 years old. This is a must for a medical card.
However, there are no restrictions on the amount of marijuana. The patient can use it as much as he/she needs. Patients can also grow cannabis at home. There are no amount restrictions as well.
But note that you should check all these laws with your local city.
Cannabis Businesses License Types in CA
There are different cannabis businesses operating in CA. However, they will be illegal without proper licensing.
The Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) issues licenses to the businesses. The license is based on the performed activity. There’s also a chance to have more than one license. The business will need more licenses to perform different activities.
There are 7 cannabis businesses:
- Cannabis grower. It is also called a cultivator.
- Cannabis seller. It is also known as a retailer.
- Cannabis transport organizer. It is also called distributer.
- Cannabis product maker. The manufacturer is responsible for this.
- Centers testing marijuana. It takes place in testing laboratories.
- Marijuana event organizer. It is holding an event to sell cannabis.
- Microbusiness. It has many functions.
- Let’s now look through the licensing processes.
Cannabis Grower License in CA
Cannabis grower license has different types. The type of license is based on 2 factors. Firstly, it is based on the type of production. The used lighting is also a decision-making factor. Secondly, the type of license is based on the number of plants. It considers the grower’s capability. The size of the place for growing plants also matters.
There are 7 different grower licenses.
- Specialty cottage. It has three subtypes: outdoor, indoor, and mixed-light.
- It also has three subtypes: outdoor, indoor, and mixed-light.
- The subtypes are the same: outdoor, indoor, and mixed-light.
- The subtypes are like the previous three: outdoor, indoor, and mixed-light.
- But the license will be available after January 1, 2023.
License for the processor. It is only for drying, grading, trimming, and packaging cannabis. Labeling cannabis is also possible.
Nursery license. The business’s aim is to spread cannabis. But it should only grow clones, seeds, and immature plants.
Now, let’s discuss the difference between outdoor, indoor, and mixed-light licenses.
If the business grows cannabis naturally it gets an outdoor license. The grower shouldn’t use artificial light. It can’t also use light deprivation on plants.
Growers using permanent structures get indoor licenses. There should be, at least, 25 watts of artificial light/square. A mixed-light license is for growing cannabis in different structures. For example, growing cannabis in a glasshouse.
Grower License Fees
There are two different fees for a grower license. Firstly, you pay for the application. The fee for application varies. It is based on license types. All in all, the fee for application ranges from $135 to $8,655.
Afterward, you pay for the license. It is also based on the license type. The license fee can be from $1,200 to $77,900.
Cannabis Seller License
There are two licenses for different seller licenses.
There’s a shop selling marijuana. It can also use a delivery service.
None-storefront. The business sells marijuana through delivery.
The fee for a seller license can range from $2,500 up to $96,000.
Cannabis Distributor License
Cannabis distributor license has also 2 types. The first one is for type 11: distributers. Besides transporting products, they can provide storage spaces. They can also arrange to test for products.
The second one is for type 13. This is the distributer can only transfer cannabis.
The fee for the license starts from $200. The fee can reach up to $1,000.
Cannabis Manufacturer License
Cannabis manufacturer license has different types. They are three core factors deciding the license type.
- Whether the manufacturer owns the facility or it’s shared.
- What activities product maker performs.
- Are there any chemicals used by a manufacturer?
- CA issues type 6, 7, S, P, N manufacturer licenses.
Fees for Manufacturer License
There are two separate fees for application and license. The fee for manufacturer license applications is from $500 to $1000.
License fee based on gross annual revenue. The fee ranges from $2,000 to $75,000.
Testing Laboratory License
- This license is for laboratories testing cannabis. This is done before the sail.
- The fee for testing the laboratory starts from $3,000. It can go up to $72,000.
Event Organizer License
- Only a person can hold cannabis events. The person should have an event organizer license.
- There are two event license types. The first one is for the person organizing the event. The second one is for the event itself.
- Event organizer license based on the number of organized events. The fee can range from $3,000 to $20,000.
The type of microbusiness license is 12. The microbusiness should do, at least, three activities. The activities include growing and manufacturing cannabis. It can also include the selling and distribution of marijuana.
The fee for a microbusiness license starts from $5,000. The fee can be up to $300,000.
Note: All mentioned fees are for licenses at the state level. Additionally, you will pay fees to your local city. Usually, the license renewal is annual. You should pay a license fee each year.