California has a well-deserved reputation as a progressive place. The Golden State is often several steps ahead of the rest of the United States in cultural and other trends.
That goes for cannabis as well as for many other things. Proposition 215 passed in 1996, making the state the first in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. Though Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational pot in 2012, California followed in 2016 with its own legalization of recreational weed.
Growing weed provides an easy and affordable way to produce your own stash. The lure of big profits also has attracted many to the idea of growing grass commercially.
Whether you are a native resident of the Golden West, moved here for the climate or a job, or live somewhere else but are thinking about moving to this populous place, it is important to know about California marijuana growing laws if you are thinking about growing pot there. Read on to learn about laws to consider when growing weed in California.
Personal Pot Growing
California's rules for medical marijuana users and recreational users are slightly different. Generally, regulations are slightly more liberal for medical users, who must obtain an ID card under the state's Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program. But you do not need a medical marijuana card to grow weed in California.
It is also important to remember that laws can vary by county. Counties and municipalities can ban outdoor growing, for instance.
In general, Northern California counties are more liberal than Southern California counties. Extremes range from conservative counties like Calaveras to liberal ones like Humboldt and Santa Cruz. Before you grow, it is smart to check with city and county sources to get the lowdown on local rules and regs.
Generally, those who are 21 years or older can grow up to six mature or immature plants at a time on their property. Medical card holders can grow up to six mature plants or 12 immature plants at a time. Plants should be grown where they cannot be seen by others.
It is legal in California for those over 21 to carry up to 28.5 grams, or about an ounce, of pot. Medical card holders can transport up to 8 ounces.
It is important to remember that California laws still are tough on selling pot. Selling to minors can even result in felony charges. As such, it is wise for home growers never to sell their weed to anyone.
Commercial Cannabis Farming
Commercial cannabis growing is allowed in California, but it requires meeting several bureaucratic standards. Commercial growers must obtain an annual license from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. They must show compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and need to comply with local water boards' regulations.
Legal Standards in California
When it comes to growing weed in California, laws can be complex and can even change.
This article can give you a broad overview of pot-growing laws in California, but if you need legal counsel, you should consult an attorney licensed to practice law in California.