Legal Tips and Resources
January 1rst, 2018, was a historical day for California, as they opened the world’s biggest legal marijuana market. Although the state has made medical marijuana legal for the past 20 years, the revolution stirred a lot of mixed feelings. Many were thrilled, as they could now smoke legally, and others were not as they felt marijuana use would lead to higher crime rates and juvenile behavior. Many have questions still about what to expect from this regulation and whether or not what they are currently doing is legal. Take a look below at the most frequently asked questions regarding marijuana usage in California today:
- What changes were made January 1rst? California now allows licensed smoke shops to sell marijuana to any individual with a government issued ID showing that they are aged 21 years or older. This is exactly as if you were to buy alcohol from the store. Doctors notes for medical marijuana are no longer required to make a purchase in smoke shops.
- Will individuals be allowed to smoke openly? No, not legally at least. California state law says that marijuana may not be smoked or consumed in public, including in areas where it is legal to smoke a cigarette. You may only smoke in private areas like in your home or backyard. If you are caught smoking in public, you may be charged with a hefty fine.
- Where am I able to buy marijuana and will medical dispensaries be open to everyone? Medical dispensaries need separate licenses to sell recreational and medical licenses, so no, not all medical dispensaries will become open to the general public. You can buy marijuana at any shop that sells recreationally; just call and ask first to make sure. You can also check out weedmaps.com to view menus and such.
- Can I have marijuana in the car with me? The rules surrounding traveling with marijuana are the same as the ones regarding alcohol. You are not allowed to consume or smoke marijuana while you are driving, you must leave everything you purchased at the smoke shop in a sealed bag until you get home, and you cannot have anything open or easily accessible. It is best to just throw your marijuana in the trunk until you get to where you are going so you do not encounter any problems with the police.
- Can I grow my own marijuana at home? Yes. Prop 64 states that up to six marijuana plants are allowed per household (not per person), grown by individuals at least 21 years of age. You must keep it out of public view and away from anyone under 21. You are not allowed to grow your plants outside, unless you have a permit.
- Can jobs still test for marijuana usage even though it is legal? Yes. Prop 64 also states that it is legal for an employer to refuse to hire new workers and fire existing workers based on a positive marijuana test. This is common in jobs that require operating heavy machinery or driving.
If you have any questions about the legalities of cannabis, consult with a business lawyer in Charlottesville, VA.
Thanks to Dale Jensen, PLC for their insight into business law and cannabis.