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Marijuana Laws & Regulations: How Weed Became Legal in California

By February 7, 2019April 26th, 2022No Comments

Medical marijuana first became legalized in California back in 1996. Twenty years later, Prop 64 legalized the production, use, and sale of retail marijuana. Production and sales of legal marijuana finally began in 2018, although stores first had to procure state and local permits.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of weed or a newcomer to the cannabis scene, this opens a lot of questions. What are the premier marijuana stores close to me? Do I need an ID to enter a dispensary? How much can I buy per day? How do cannabis stores work in California?

Read on to discover the answers to these questions, and more. We’ll look at various weed laws and regulations, and how they affect your buying and using experience. We’ll also tell you what’s the top place to buy weed in Orange County.

United States flag with marijuana leaves on itWhat states have marijuana retail stores?

As of November 2018, the non-medical use of cannabis in USA has been decriminalized in 13 states, and legalized in another 10 states. During the last year’s midterm elections, Michigan became the tenth state to make recreational weed legal, while both Missouri and Utah voted to legalize medical marijuana.

As of January 2019, seven states boast fully regulated retail marijuana sellers. These states are Colorado, California, Washington, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada. The stores there are 100% legal, allowing any adult (21+ years of age) to buy weed, or weed smoking accessories such as bongs and grinders.

How many marijuana retail outlets are there in California?

According to the data supplied by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, in 2018 California had 358 licensed recreational marijuana stores. While this may sound like a considerable number, it pales in comparison to California’s population of 1.7 million.

Sadly, that’s less than one store per 100,000 people. For comparison, Oregon boasts 15 times as many adult-use recreational dispensaries on a per-capita basis. Worse, in certain large communities such as Bakersfield and Fresno (combined population of 900,000), the closest retail store is an hour’s drive away.

If you were hoping to enjoy a bit of recreational weed while traveling to visit the Mission San Juan Capistrano, you will be disappointed. The 350 mile stretch of Interstate 5 highway between Los Angeles and San Francisco offers almost no retail marijuana shops. Make sure you supply yourself beforehand.

How many times a day can a patient visit a retail marijuana dispensary?

Proposition 64, which legalized recreational cannabis in California, allows adults 21+ to legally buy one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of cannabis concentrates per day. While there’s nothing stopping you from entering a weed store more than once, you won’t be allowed to buy more than this.

That being said, there’s no real need to do so. An ounce of cannabis is enough to make a few dozen joints, which should be more than enough to satisfy even the most devoted cannabis fan for a day. That being said, certain edibles can make this limitation problematic.

For instance, a can of cannabis butter contains a high amount of concentrate. Concentrate-heavy products like that can easily put you over the 8-gram legal limit.

Can I buy marijuana in California and take it to another state?

You can’t. Cannabis is still illegal under federal law. This means that you’ll be charged with possession if you’re caught smoking or carrying weed in a state that hasn’t yet legalized recreational marijuana.

Same goes for airplanes. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) defers to the federal law when it comes to things like marijuana, so it’s illegal to take any amount of weed on a plane.

Also, keep in mind that selling marijuana between 10pm and 6am is against the law, so plan your purchases accordingly and don’t expect to see a 24/7 cannabis store anytime soon.

Where am I allowed to legally smoke weed?

Short answer: not in public. Long answer: to stay within the limits of the law, you will need to restrict your weed usage to private properties. Weed is prohibited anywhere where smoking tobacco is also illegal, unless, of course, there’s a local ordinance that explicitly allows its use.

This means that any public building, such as a school campus, hospital, restaurant, park, or a bar, are off-limits for marijuana smoking. Furthermore, the weed must stay in a sealed container while out in public. If the seal has been broken, the container must be kept in a secluded place, such as inside a bag or in a car’s glove compartment.

Thankfully, you can enjoy your favorite pastime in private to your heart’s content. Sit back in the comforts of your home with friends and family, light up or have a snack, and enjoy a great afternoon or evening.

Can I smoke and drive in Orange County?

Recreational cannabis contains varying amounts of THC, which is the substance in cannabis that gives you that pleasant buzz we all know and love. Because of this, eating marijuana edibles or Marijuana leaf on a judge's gavellighting up a joint while driving is strictly prohibited under California law.

Essentially, driving under the influence of recreational cannabis is treated in the same way as doing so under the influence of alcohol. On a related note, there’s no law in California that guards employees against being fired for using marijuana.

Just as you wouldn’t show up to work while drunk, you also shouldn’t go to work while high. Always be responsible in your marijuana usage.

What is the best marijuana store in my city?

Reading about cannabis stores online is perfectly fine, but nothing beats seeing them for yourself and having your questions answered in person. Here at People’s OC, we take pride in being California’s premier medical and recreational weed dispensary. We can’t wait to give you the splendid weed experience you want and deserve.

Feel free to drop by our store or look at our extensive online catalog. Whether you’re a recreational user looking for something to enjoy, or someone in need of discomfort relief, rest assured People’s OC can provide exactly the thing you need. Visit us today.