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california marijuana growing laws by county

California marijuana growing laws by county

Driving with marijuana is an infraction. It can be punished by:

Marijuana and cannabis products must be smoked or consumed in private, with the consent of the property owner. This means that your landlord or employer can prohibit your use of marijuana at work or on a property you rent.

Proof of intent to sell marijuana without a license is usually made by circumstantial evidence (“indicia of sale”). 7

7. Is driving with marijuana a crime?

Recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on January 1, 2018. The legalization of cannabis regulation and adult-use cannabis is the result of voter passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016.

Additionally, people under 21 may use and cultivate medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation (and, if they are under 18, the consent of a parent).

2. What are the cultivation laws?

Proposition 64 requires all medical marijuana users to obtain a new recommendation from their physician by January 1, 2018.

What may medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers legally do?

The main statute for cannabis businesses in the Business and Professions Code. It is called the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). MAUCRSA sets up a basic framework for licensing, oversight and enforcement.

The cannabis industry is strictly regulated to make sure:

DCC makes regulations for cannabis businesses. These regulations specify:


California became the first state to allow medicinal cannabis use when voters passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. Today, cannabis is legal in California for both medicinal and adult (recreational) use.

There are also statutes that set rules for people using cannabis in California. The Health and Safety Code has a section on cannabis with:

Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) regulations

If you run, work for or want to start a cannabis business, it’s important that you understand DCC’s regulations.

We have resources to help you understand the requirements:

California marijuana growing laws by county

Oakdale and Riverbank, in Stanislaus County, are the only two cities in the state that welcome every type of recreational marijuana business even though a majority of residents in both cities voted against Prop. 64.

In the top left corner of the chart you’ll find cities and counties where local leaders have passed liberal marijuana policies even though most of their constituents voted against Prop. 64.

To get above 96 points, cities and counties must allow every type of marijuana business licensed by the state. That means permitting medical and recreational licenses for cannabis sales, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing. They would also have to allow their residents to grow marijuana at home, both indoors and outdoors.

A couple dozen cities are leading the pack for the most points we’ve doled out so far, meaning they’re the most lenient cities in the state when it comes to cannabis policy.

County policies sometimes conflict with cities

Imperial County, for example, permits all types of marijuana businesses in its unincorporated areas, mostly near the Arizona and Mexico borders. Yet most cities in Imperial County (the three biggest are El Centro, Calexico and Brawley) have banned the industry, and none allow recreational shops.

These cities are spread over 26 counties. The highest number is predictably in the county with by far the most cities: Los Angeles. But just 19 percent of L.A. County cities are super strict on cannabis, while every city in the tiny counties of Madera and Sutter have passed the toughest rules possible.

There are also state-licensed marijuana stores that claim addresses in Carmel and Monterey, even though both of those cities block all marijuana businesses.

Least cannabis-friendly cities in California

More than five dozen cities score a zero on our scale of cannabis friendliness.

The information opens a window into how the industry is taking shape three months after California began licensing marijuana businesses and permitting the sale of recreational marijuana.