New Cannabis Law Finally Comes to Fruition in California
Back in 2016, California voted in favor of proposition 64, which would make it legal for any person over 21 to have possession and private use of cannabis law. As of January 1st, 2018, the new state regulations and licensing took effect and now, as long as you have valid proof of ID, and the county and/or city you are buying in allows it, you can now purchase cannabis for recreational use. New regulations are similar to the standards held for alcohol in that you must be 21 years of age to purchase and you may not consume cannabis while operating a vehicle. Also, shops must have a license to sell these products recreationally.
Shops have had two years to phase in the new regulations and temporary licenses to sell recreational marijuana are now being issued. However, some cities and counties are still prohibiting recreational sales so not all medical cannabis dispensaries are able file for recreational sale licenses. In the cities where only medical sales are authorized, doctor recommendation is still required for purchases. Some cities are also requiring dispensaries to meet all requirements for city licensing before they can apply for state licensing. Do a simple internet search to find out if your town is legally selling recreational cannabis before taking a trip to your local dispensary.
Under this new law, cannabis is now being held to a higher standard as far as labeling and testing go. This is part of the states way of being able to track it from production to sale. Testing facilities are being opened, production warehouses are creating protocols and standards, and all are making sure that they are meeting new regulations. All cannabis products must be tested for cannabinoids, foreign material, heavy metals, microbial impurities, mycotoxins and other chemicals and solvents and labels are now required to inform users about the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid levels of the products. “Edible products must be produced in serving sizes that have no more than 10 milligrams of THC and no more than 100 milligrams of THC for the total package. Nonedible cannabis products (concentrates, topicals, tinctures, extracts, etc.) separate limits based on medical (up to 2,000 mg of THC per package) or Adult-use products (up to 1,000 mg of THC per package).” (https://www.dorsey.com/newsresources/publications/client-alerts/2017/11/ca-emergency-cannabisregulations). If these new protocols are not adhered to, shops can face large fines, owners and employees may face jail time and the possibility of permanent removal of licenses.
Now that anyone can, anyone will go into a dispensary and make a purchase. As long as you have a valid ID that proves you are 21, and the city you are in legally sells recreationally, you can purchase and possess up to 28.5 grams without any legal backlash. The ease of availability makes use that much more acceptable in today’s society and erases the fear of criminal prosecution and persecution. Though use in public places is still banned, some cities are considering opening cannabis lounges so that users have a “friendly space” to enjoy. Shops and all cannabis facilities of all sorts will need to be sure they are up-to-date and know all new rules and regulations pertaining to this new law or face dire consequences. Those who are following the law have nothing to fear and should enjoy nature’s bounty as they see fit.