Medical and Recreational use of marijuana is legal in California. Recreational use has been made legal since November 2016 with Proposition 64. Though it has been legal, the process is still being worked on. There are still a lot of gray areas in the actual process but listed below are some of the key things you would need to know if you plan on cultivating marijuana in the state of California.
It is worth noting that for years and years, cultivating marijuana is has been somehow like an open secret in California. It has only been made legal recently but the business has been thriving in the said state since 1795. Many cannabis growers are opting to move to California to start cultivating there. If you are one of them, read on and understand the policies now in place in California.
Personal cultivation is easy enough for residents in California whether it be for medical or recreational use. There are no permits or licenses required to cultivate your marijuana plant but there are certain rules to follow.
Non-Medical or Recreational Use
You can own up to 6 plants and 6 plants only regardless of what stage the plant is in. These plants must be cultivated in the privacy of your home or your property where it cannot be seen. Though it is legal, it is still not encouraged to broadcast it to your friends or in social media. There are also cities in California that still prohibits growing of marijuana. To stay out of trouble with the law, keep your crops out of sight. Grow it indoors.
You can also carry marijuana in California provided it is limited to 28.5 grams. As a personal grower, you cannot sell your marijuana. Doing so has a corresponding penalty.
You can own as many plants as needed as long as it is planted within 100 square feet of your property. A patient or a caregiver with the doctor’s recommendation can cultivate marijuana. Though this is medical marijuana, you are still not allowed to plant outdoors.
Summarizing the must-knows in the table below.
|Who can grow marijuana||Any patient or caregiver with a doctor’s recommendation||Adults 21 years old and above|
|How much marijuana can be grown||No limitations as to how many plants you can grow as long as it is within 100 square feet||6 plants|
|Where can I grow marijuana plants||Indoors||Indoors|
|How can I cultivate marijuana plants||
|Can I sell the marijuana I planted||No||No|
Legalizing cannabis in California involves a different set of laws to be implemented in California.
|Misdemeanor||Owning more than 6 marijuana plants|
|Felony||Getting 2 or more prior convictions for owning more than 6 marijuana plants|
|Violating California environmental laws in their marijuana cultivation process|
|Infraction||Cultivating marijuana under 21 years of age|
There are a lot of cannabis-related businesses you can open in the state of California such as retail, manufacturing, commercial growing, testing, and research facilities, distributing and extraction services.
As mentioned earlies, cultivation of cannabis in California is easy for personal use. It is different for commercial cultivation. Licensing and permits are required to get the cannabis business started.
These permits are given by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The process is rigorous, costly and takes a lot of time. The licensing process was recently opened for applicants since January 1, 2018. Once granted, these licenses are valid for a year and would need to be renewed. It is worth noting that CDFA does issues licenses daily but the same goes for expired licenses. They also happen daily and the system cannot cope. Be prepared to a lot a year in acquiring the license.
Visit calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov for updates.
Same as the requirement for personal cultivation, only adults 21 years old and above can apply for a license.
Criminal Background Check
A criminal background check would have to be conducted for these applicants but the licensing department can only accommodate 6 applicants a day due to limited resources. Each applicant would need to pay $78 for this criminal background check.
Applicants would need to acquire a Zoning Verification Letter from the local Public Works Department. A fee of $250 is required. Getting the letter normally takes 2 weeks. Your license will depend on how big your cultivation area will be. It has been categorized into 4. There is the Specialty, Small, Tier 3 and Nursery. Each of the categories is subcategorized into outdoor, indoor and mixed light.
Starting a cannabis business involves money. By estimate, you would need to shell out about $8,000 just for licensing alone.
Yes, Cannabis use and cultivation are legal in California but there are still limitations. Equip yourself with the right information before going to California and embarking on a cannabis cultivating adventure to avoid getting into trouble with the law. Should you find yourself in a bind, call a lawyer. Better yet, understand this article and be educated. As Big Mike of Advanced Nutrients said in his interview in HuffPost, it is not easy growing cannabis.