Legal weed in California
Everything you need to know about legal weed in California
In 2018, weed will become legal in California.
In November of 2016 California voters decided by a 15-point margin that they wanted to make it legal to buy, sell, and consume pot recreationally in their state. And starting on Jan. 1, that law goes into effect.
But there are catches, and the new law doesn’t mean all pot-related activities are now suddenly legal. Here’s what you need to know about the changes going into effect in 2018.
WHAT’S LEGAL NOW, AND WHAT ISN’T
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 64, allows anyone over the age 21 to buy weed legally from a dispensary.
It also lets Californians legally grow up to six plants in their home or carry around up to eight grams of concentrates such as wax or oil, or up to an ounce of bud.
And because it’s legal, it will be taxed. Expect a 15 percent state excise tax on anything bought at a dispensary, plus local taxes of anywhere from about 8 to 10 percent. On cultivation, there’s a $9.25 per ounce tax for the plant’s flowers and $2.75 tax per ounce of leaves.
DON’T LIGHT UP IN PUBLIC — THAT’S STILL NOT ALLOWED
The proposition created a new charge, punishable with fines of up to $100, for smoking pot in public. Before January, anyone caught smoking in public would have been charged with possession.
And because pot is still illegal under federal law, any any marijuana bought in California cannot be carried across state lines. You also can’t bring your weed onto federal land, which means national parks and other property owned by the feds will still be off limits.
Your boss can also still tell you not to smoke. Per Proposition 64, employers still have the right to drug test and enforce a drug-free workplace.
WHERE YOU CAN BUY, AND WHERE YOU CAN’T
Californians can now pick up their bud legally at any dispensary, but a bunch of cities haven’t licensed any dispensaries. Those cities include some of the bigger ones: There won’t be any place to pick up weed in San Francisco or Los Angeles on January 1.
The process of applying for licenses in these cities has been a strain on existing pot businesses, so much so that one local pot shop in Los Angeles is considering closing its doors, according to the LA Times. The city of Los Angeles isn’t handing out any recreational pot sale licenses until later in January.