This state’s marijuana laws have changed a lot since the “Compassionate Use Act” was passed in 1996 to allow medical marijuana use. Proposition 64, also called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), was one of the laws that were changed. It became law in 2016 and lets people in California use marijuana. That’s why we made this list of the California weed laws that shops need to know to stay in line. Laws and rules change all the time. You can find the whole set of state laws and rules here.
California Marijuana Laws At A Glance
- The Department of Cannabis Control oversees the legal marijuana market in California.
- Deliveries can only be made by licensed retailers, licensed micro-businesses with a non-store front retail license, or licensed nonprofits.
- Recreational marijuana users have to pay a 15% excise tax.
- Cannabis labels in California have a primary panel for the most important information and an information panel for all other required information.
- Adults in California can purchase up to 28.5 grams of non-concentrated cannabis, 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, and 6 immature cannabis plants per day.
- Medical marijuana patients can purchase 8 ounces of medical cannabis per day.
- California uses Metrc as its state track-and-trace system.
- Both in-state and out-of-state patients can receive a medical marijuana card, so long as they meet the qualifying conditions.
Requirements for Track and Trace
The Department of weed Control (DCC) in California authorizes and keeps an eye on weed businesses.
The Following Rules Must Be Followed by California Weed Businesses when Using Track and Trace:
- Metrc works with the DCC as the state’s weed reporting track and trace system. Metrc is used to keep track of what’s happening with weed from “seed to sale.” To stay in line with California’s tracking and reporting rules, cannabis stores must use Metrc.
- Businesses with a license from the state must choose who will use their track and trace system, train them, and make a list of all of these people.
- Within three days, any mistakes in data entry must be fixed.
- The track and trace system needs all goods to be tagged and put in.
- At least once every 30 days, inventory must be matched up.
- You can’t give used package tags to someone else, and you have to throw away used tags when you’re done with them.
The Following Steps Must Be Recorded in The Track and Trace System 24 Hours After the Event:
- Cannabis or cannabis goods are being used for quality control testing or research and development of new products.
- Getting marijuana or goods made from marijuana.
- The transfer of cannabis or cannabis goods is turned down.
- Give or sell cannabis or cannabis goods.
- Testing in a lab, including the results of the tests.
- Making marijuana or goods made from marijuana.
- Cannabis or cannabis goods being packed or repacked.
- Cannabis or cannabis goods are being destroyed or thrown away.
For Each of The Above Tasks, the Track and Trace System Is Needed to Keep Track of The Later Information:
- The name of the brand of weed products
- The kind of cannabis or goods made from cannabis.
- The unique number that was given to the cannabis or cannabis goods.
- .The amount, size, or weight of the cannabis or cannabis goods.
- The date of the event.
How to Package and Label
(a) Before being sent to a store or small business that is allowed to sell cannabis, cannabis, and cannabis products must be clearly marked and sealed in a child-proof, tamper-evident package. The package must also have a unique identifier that can be used to find and follow cannabis and cannabis products.
(b) Labels and packages must not be made to look appealing to kids.
(c) All cannabis and cannabis product labels must have the following information clearly visible and readable in a way that follows the size and style guidelines set by the Department of Cannabis Control:
(1) These things, in bold, are said: (“GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS CANNABIS, A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.”) This is for cannabis flower and pre-rolls that haven’t been mixed with anything. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF PETS AND CHILDREN. People must be at least 21 years old to possess or consume cannabis unless they are a qualified patient.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use cannabis. When you smoke cannabis, it makes it harder for you to drive and operate machinery. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL.” (B) For cannabis goods made in a factory: “Federal Warning: This item contains cannabis, a substance that is controlled by Schedule I.” KEEP OUT OF REACH OF PETS AND CHILDREN. Cannabis products can only be owned or used by people who are at least 21 years old unless they are qualified patients. Cannabis products may take up to two hours longer to start making you sick. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use cannabis. When you use cannabis products, it makes it harder for you to drive and run machines. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL.”
(2) The total weight of the cannabis in a package that only has dried flowers should be shown in both metric and U.S. customary values.
(3) The appellation of origin, if any (note: the label can’t list the name of a California city or county unless all the cannabis used in the product was grown in that city or county). The ingredients must include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and any other cannabinoid content that makes up at least 5% of the total cannabinoid content.
For flower goods, the THC and other cannabinoid amounts must be given as a percentage. The amount of cannabinoids in made goods is given in milligrams per serving and per package. (6) A note if nuts or other foods that cause food allergies are used. (7) Information about the unique number that the Department gave out. (8) The words “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY” must be written on any medical cannabis product sold in a store. (9) Any other rule that the Department makes. (10) The words “cannabis-infused” or “cannabis-infused” must be written right above the product name in bold and a bigger font size than the product name of any edible goods.
It was explained that the package must be safe for kids, easy to open, and unable to be tampered with. Kids shouldn’t enjoy it. Labels for weed in California have both a main panel and an information panel. This is part of the sign that people are most likely to see or look at in a store. Most of the time, the most important information is on the front or top of the box. Any other part of the sign that has information that isn’t needed on the main display panel is called the information panel.
(4) The name of the grower or dealer who packed the product, along with their phone number or website, the date (month, day, year) that it was packed for sale, and the type of cannabis or cannabis product.
Cannabis Flower Labels And Non-infused Pre-rolls (Pre-rolled Joints) Must Meet These Standards:
The Central Panel Needs to Have:
- The State Emblem of California Should Be Written in Black or White on A Background that Stands out And Is at Least 0.5″ by 0.5″.
- A product identifier, like the item’s general name or a description of what it is
- How much the item weighs in both metric and standard American numbers
The Following Must Be on The Information Panel:
- The formal business name (DBA) or name of the licensee that is on the license certificate
- This is the licensee’s webpage or phone number.
- California’s track-and-trace system gives out UID numbers as tracking numbers.
- A message from the government in big, bold letters
- When (month, day, and year) the item was packed to be sold in stores
Retailers are only allowed to sell the following amounts of weed to one adult user in a single day:
(1)28.5 grams of weed that isn’t highly concentrated.
(2) Eight grams of cannabis concentrate, which is described in Business and Professions Code section 26001 and includes cannabis concentrate that is in cannabis products.
(3) 6 juvenile cannabis plants. An authorized seller can only sell the following amounts to a single medical cannabis patient or to the patient’s main caretaker buying medical cannabis on their behalf in a single day:
1. Eight ounces of medical cannabis in the form of dried, fully grown flowers or the plant conversion allowed by Health and Safety Code section 11362.77.
(2) 12 young marijuana plants. Despite subsection (b) of this section, if a valid physician’s recommendation for medicinal cannabis lists a different amount than the limits in this section, the medicinal cannabis patient may still purchase the amount of cannabis that their doctor prescribed based on their needs and documented in the recommendation.
Explained: Adults in California who are at least 21 years old and have a legal government-issued ID can buy and have no more than
- Six young weed plants every day
- 28.5 grams of weed that isn’t spiked
- 8 grams of powerful cannabis
Under California’s medical marijuana program, patients and their primary caregivers can buy and have up to 8 ounces of medical marijuana each day.
Read More: 5 Colorado Cannabis Laws You Need to Know
Legal Reference: (a) (1) People Who Buy Cannabis or Cannabis Goods in This State Are Subject to A 15% Cannabis Excise Tax. People Who Buy Cannabis Are Still Responsible for Paying the Cannabis Excise Tax Until The Tax Is Paid to The State. The only Exception Is if A Cannabis Retailer Gives the Buyer an Invoice, Receipt, or Other Document that Says They Paid the Tax. This Is Enough to Release the Buyer from Further Responsibility for The Tax that The Invoice, Receipt, or Other Document Refers To. (2) When someone Buys Cannabis, the Store Must Give Them an Invoice, Receipt, or Some Other Form of Paper that Shows the Cannabis Excise Tax Separately.
From now until December 2022, the Excise Tax Is Based on The Average Retail Price of Cannabis or Cannabis Goods. From January 1, 2023, It Will Be Up To Stores to Collect and Pay the Excise Tax Instead of Distributors. the Cannabis Excise Tax Will Stay at 15% and Will Be Based on The Total Amount of Money Made from Selling Cannabis or Cannabis Goods in Stores. After July 1, 2025, the 15% Rate Might Change.
Gross Sales Include the Price of The Cannabis or Cannabis Goods Sold, Minus Any Discounts, Plus All Fees Related to The Sale, Like Delivery Fees and Any Local Cannabis Business Tax that Is Listed Separately on The Buyer’s Bill or Receipt. Gross Sales Don’t Include Sales Tax or The Money Made from Selling Things Other than Weed. There Is a Tax Report Due on May 1, 2023, for The First Cannabis Retailer.
The excise tax is on top of the sales and use taxes that the state and local governments charge. Cannabis or cannabis goods can’t be sold to a buyer until the buyer pays the excise tax that the law requires at the time of sale. This section does not mean that medicinal cannabis or a product made from medicinal cannabis that is given away for free to a medical cannabis user in accordance with Section 26071 of the Business and Professions Code is subject to an excise tax.
According to current law, AB195:
(10) The distributor must receive the cannabis excise tax from the cannabis retailer and send it to CDTFA. As things stand, the cultivation tax and the cannabis excise tax that a distributor or manufacturer collects, along with any money that they don’t return to the grower or retailer but took because they said it was tax, are all debts that the distributor or manufacturer owes to the state. The person who is supposed to collect and send the tax to CDTFA is legally responsible for any tax they receive from a grower or reseller but has not yet shown to them. As things stand, anyone who wants to work as a distributor must get a permit from the CDTFA.
Anyone who does business as a distributor without a legal permit is guilty of a misdemeanor. As of January 1, 2023, this bill would change and update the parts that deal with managing cannabis cultivation and weed excise taxes. As part of the plan, the cannabis retailer would no longer have to collect the cannabis excise tax from the distributor. Instead, the cannabis retailer would have to collect the tax from the customer and send it to CDTFA every three months.
As said in the bill, any tax that a cannabis retailer collects and does not return to the buyer is considered a loan that the cannabis retailer owes to the state. The bill would allow the Cannabis Tax and Trade Bureau (CTFB) to require a cannabis retailer to make certain reports with the CTFB about their inventory, purchases, and sales so that the CTFB can manage the cannabis excise tax.
The CTFB could also look at the retailer’s books and records to do this. The bill says that anyone who wants to sell cannabis would have to get a permit from the CDTFA. Anyone who does business as a cannabis retailer without a legal permit is guilty of a misdemeanor. The bill would force a state-mandated local program by making a new crime.
This bill says that anyone who isn’t licensed but is required to be licensed by MAUCRSA and who has, keeps, stores, or holds on to cannabis or cannabis products for sale, or sells or offers to sell them, is responsible for paying the cannabis cultivation and cannabis excise taxes as if they were the grower or buyer, as stated. An extra fine of 25% of the tax amount or $500, whichever is bigger, would be imposed by the bill.
A person would have to sign a statement in order to get out of the punishment, and the bill says that anyone who says something important is true when they know it’s not is guilty of a misdemeanor related to these provisions. The bill would force a state-mandated local program by making a new crime.
Since Gov. Newsom signed AB 195 into law, the legal cannabis business in California can get tax breaks. The bill made the following changes:
- Retailers are now in charge of receiving the 15% excise tax and sending it to the government.
- There is no excise tax on sales of things other than weed.
- As of July 1, 2022, there will be no more cultivation tax.
- Only in 2023 15% of a store’s overall sales from retail sales (previously “non-arms length”) will be based on the average market price. Could go up to 19% in 2024
Additional Cannabis Retail Tax Information:
People who use marijuana for fun in California pay an income tax of 15%. From January 1, 2023, stores will receive it and add it to the total cost of an order before charging the customer.
For recreational sales, California has a state sales tax and a business tax, but the rates range from place to place.
Marketing and Advertising
(1) All ads and marketing materials must clearly show who owns the rights to the content they contain, at the very least by including their license number.
(2) A technology platform must not show an ad sponsored by a licensee on a web page on the Internet unless the ad shows the licensee’s license number. According to the Outdoor Advertising Act (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 5200) of Division 3), an outdoor advertising company can’t show an ad by a licensee unless it has the license number of the licensee written on it. To be legal, advertising and marketing must only be shown in broadcast, cable, radio, print, and digital communications where at least 71.6% of the audience is likely to be 21 or older, based on accurate, up-to-date statistics on the audience composition.
(c) Any advertising or marketing that involves direct, individualized communication or dialogue controlled by the licensee must use a method of age affirmation to make sure that the receiver is at least 21 years old before they can engage in that particular communication or dialogue controlled by the licensee. For this section’s uses, that way of proving age can be user confirmation, offering birthdates, or a similar way of registering.
d) All advertising must be true and adequately backed up. Statutes 2017, Chapter 27, Section 85 (SB 94) made changes that took effect on June 27, 2017. Initiation Prop. 64 added this part on November 8, 2016. Some things that a licensee can’t do are listed below.
(a) Market or advertise in a way that is false or misleading in a material way, or that indirectly creates a false impression through ambiguity, omission, or inference, or by adding irrelevant science or technical information.
b) Put out advertising or marketing materials that say something about a brand or product that doesn’t match what’s written on the package.
c) It is against the law to publish or spread marketing or advertising that includes any statement, design, device, or representation that makes it look like the cannabis came from a certain place or region unless the label of the advertised product has an appellation of origin and that appellation of origin is contained in the advertisement.
(d) Promote or advertise on a billboard or other similar sign on an Interstate Highway or a State Highway that goes across the California line.
(e) Market or advertise cannabis or cannabis products in a way that attempts to get people younger than 21 to use cannabis or cannabis products.
(f) Release or spread marketing or advertising that is appealing to kids.
(g) Put up an ad for cannabis or cannabis goods within 1,000 feet of a daycare, school, or playground for kids in kindergarten or any grade from 1 to 12, or youth center.
(h) Publicize or spread marketing or promoting while the licensee’s license is suspended. (“Chapter 923, Section 1 of the 2018 Statutes”); Starting January 1, 2019. Note: Prop. 64, initiative 26153, added this part on November 8, 2016. In order to promote their business or do other business-related activities, licensees are not allowed to give away any cannabis, cannabis goods, or cannabis accessories.
It is not considered a business promotion or other commercial activity when a licensee gives cannabis or cannabis products to a patient or the main caregiver of a patient, as required by Section 26071. Statistics 2019, Chapter 837, Section 5 (SB 34) made changes that will take effect on January 1, 2020. Note: Prop. 64, initiative 26154, added this part on November 8, 2016. On the label of any cannabis or cannabis product, or in any advertising or marketing, the licensee must not put any health-related information that isn’t true or that gives the wrong impression about how cannabis use affects health.
- Ads must be aimed at people over the age of 21.
- Cannabis goods and accessories can’t be given away for free or as a way to advertise. They can, however, give a patient legal weed.
- There can’t be any cannabis advertising within 1,000 feet of a daycare, kindergarten, school for grades 1 through 12, field, or youth center.
- Ads can’t say things that aren’t true or aren’t what they seem to be.
- As of January 2021, it is against the law to put up billboards or other similar signs on an Interstate Highway or a State Highway that crosses the California line.
Services for Delivery
The law says that
(a) Deliveries can only be made by a licensed retailer, a microbusiness with a non-storefront retail license, a licensed nonprofit, or a licensed nonprofit under Section 26070.5.
(b) Anyone working for a store, small business, or nonprofit that delivers cannabis or cannabis goods must have a copy of the licensee’s current license and a government-issued ID with their picture on it, like a driver’s license. When asked, the worker must show that license and ID to state and local police, people who work for regulatory authorities, and other state and local agencies that are enforcing this division.
(c) While making the delivery, the licensee must keep a copy of the delivery request and give it to the licensing authority and police officers who ask for it. The paperwork for the delivery request must follow all state and federal laws that protect private medical information.
(d) A customer who requests delivery must keep a hard copy or an electronic copy of the request and give it to the licensing authority or police officers when they ask for it.
(e) A local government cannot stop a licensee from delivering cannabis or cannabis products on public roads as long as they are following this division and the local law that was made under Section 26200.
(d) A licensed shop or licensed microbusiness that is allowed to have storefront sales at their licensed location can also sell things at the curb. Customers who have bought cannabis products can have them brought to them in a car that is parked right outside of the licensed business. Delivery of cannabis products to the curb must happen under video surveillance and meet the standards of section 15044, subsection
(e), for recording areas near points of sale. According to subsection
(a), retail workers who do curbside service must check the age of every customer. Licensed stores that are only allowed to sell things through delivery services can’t do sales through sidewalk delivery.
Explained: Cannabis delivery is legal in California. Here are the basics:
- Licensed stores, small businesses, or groups can run delivery services.
- Employees must bring a government-issued picture ID and a copy of their current license with them when they bring cannabis and cannabis products. The worker must show both papers to local police, people who work for regulatory authorities, and other state and local agencies that run this section if they are asked.
- The licensee must keep a copy of the delivery request while making the delivery and show it to the police and the licensing body if they ask for it. There are state and federal rules that this service request has to follow to keep private medical information safe.
- When their shift is over, delivery people only have to go back to the licensed business if their car still has cannabis goods that haven’t been sold.
- That person who wants delivery must also keep a copy of the request to show the licensing board and police officers who they are.
- The government can’t stop a licensed person carrying cannabis or cannabis goods on a public road.
- Goods worth $10,000 are the most essential things a delivery person can carry.
- Taxes are based on where the customer lives rather than where the plant is built.
Besides that, storefront retailers can now do curbside service as well. Customers can get their cannabis from a store by having it brought to their car, which is parked outside the licensed business.
California Cannabis Laws FAQS
Q. How much weed can I buy in California?
Adults over 21 can buy and have up to 6 cannabis plants, as well as up to 1 ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis and up to 8 grams of potent cannabis.
Medical marijuana users People over 18 years old can have up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis or six mature plants or 12 young plants, depending on what Health and Safety Code section 11362.77 says should be done.
Q. Where can I buy marijuana In California?
Cannabis can be bought at stores that the California Department of Cannabis Control approves. Medical patients can only buy from stores that are allowed to sell medicines. Stores can get licenses for both medical and adult use.
Q. Is it allowed to use cannabis for recreational in California?
Yes, Prop 64 (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act) made it legal for people to use weed for fun in 2016. In the state, this means that people over the age of 21 can buy and use cannabis for their purposes.
Q. What are the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in California?
Participation in California’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) is limited to people who meet the following requirements:
- cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- chronic pain
- persistent muscle spasms (e.g. spasms associated with multiple sclerosis)
- seizures (e.g. epileptic seizures)
- severe nausea
- Any other long-lasting or persistent medical symptom that makes it hard for a person to do major life activities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or that, if not treated, could seriously harm their safety and health (physical or mental).