Recreational (Comprehensive) and Medical (Comprehensive)

Important Dates

1996: Proposition 215 legalized medical marijuana.
2003: Senate Bill 420 laid out specifics regarding enforcement agencies and the ID card system.
2010: Senate Bill 1449 downgraded the possession of an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction. Proposition 19 was introduced by supporters seeking to legalize marijuana outright but was defeated.
2015: The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation was established in order to place guidelines around how medicinal marijuana was grown, dispensed and consumed.
2016: Proposition 64 made recreational marijuana legal in California (with certain regulations).
2018: Recreational marijuana shops began to open.


California’s history with marijuana can be traced back over 100 years, from being the first state to criminalize its cultivation, sales and usage in 1907, to being one of the first states to legalize recreational use in the 21st century. California residents can legally grow, purchase and use marijuana both for medicinal purposes as well as recreationally according to state regulations set forth by its governing agencies.


Can I possess, buy or grow marijuana in California?

California residents can legally cultivate, possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes in 28.5 grams of marijuana flower and up to eight grams of marijuana concentrate. Proposition 64 allows individuals who are 21 years of age or older to grow up to six plants per home, contingent on the plants being contained in a locked area and not visible to the public.

Can I operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in California?

No, you can’t drive under the influence of marijuana. You can transport marijuana in a vehicle as long as the container is sealed and has not been open or used while driving. Similar to ‘open container’ rules in regards to alcohol, you can be penalized for driving with marijuana that isn’t properly sealed.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in California?

You can apply for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) in person at your County Program. You’ll need a copy of your medical recommendation, proof of identity and proof of residence. Once your application is verified, the MMIC is valid for one year.

Can I use marijuana in public in California?

It is illegal to consume marijuana on the street or in public spaces. Marijuana should be consumed on private property.

Can I sell marijuana in California?

Only state licensed establishments can legally sell marijuana.


The information presented here should not be construed as legal advice. State and Federal laws are always subject to change. We aim to keep this page as updated as possible; however, for additional information regarding California marijuana laws, please see the California Cannabis Portal, Find Law and the National Conference of State Legislatures.