On November 8, voters stood united and passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The passing of Prop. 64 created two cannabis markets in California—the medical market and the recreational market. With the passage of Prop. 64, adults 21-and-older are permitted to possess, transport and consume cannabis recreationally, and adults who are of age can grow up to six cannabis plants and be in possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. Here’s a few answers to the questions that everyone is wondering about.
When is this effective?
Prop. 64 went into effect midnight on November 9, 2016!
What has changed?
Cannabis can now be consumed much like alcohol. No, you can’t walk down the street smoking cannabis, just like you can’t walk down the street with a cocktail.
Where can I smoke cannabis?
Under Prop. 215, medical cannabis could be smoked anywhere tobacco smoke was allowed. Under Prop. 64, recreational can be smoked in a private residence and cannot be smoked in public or where tobacco is not permitted. Recreational users also cannot smoke outdoors within 1,000 feet of a school.
Myth buster: Prop. 215 v. Prop. 64
There is nothing in Prop. 64 that negates the laws and rights created under Prop. 215. In fact, Prop. 64 explicitly protects and enhances Prop. 215 creating child custody protection for patients, placing a $100 cap on state ID cards, enforcing medical record privacy, and explicitly guaranteeing that the new limits, regulations and licensing applied to non-medical cannabis do not apply to Prop. 215 patients.
Criminal Justice Reform
Cannabis cultivation/distribution/and sales were previously charged as felonies across the board and carried heavy consequences. Now, under Prop. 64, these activities are classified as misdemeanors, carrying up to a year in jail. Moreover, a previous felony conviction for cannabis can be reduced down to a misdemeanor.
Now for the Tricky Part—Obtaining Cannabis Legally
Although California is recreationally legal, we cannot expect retail locations to sell cannabis recreationally until January 1, 2018. Therefore, recreational customers cannot simply walk into a collective because medical cannabis collectives are still only for medical patients. This is because recreational cannabis businesses will not be licensed until 2018, similar to the licensing that is being created under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA). Obtaining recreational cannabis may be a gray area for a while. Once you have it though, the possession of it is legal, but if you pay for it, you may be breaking the law in obtaining it.
The Gift of Cannabis (getting in the holiday spirit)
So how can recreational users obtain cannabis outside of the current medical system? Californians who are medical cannabis patients can enter any collective and get their hands on cannabis. Is it legal for a medical patient to give me cannabis? Yes! If you want to get cannabis legally now, you’ll need to be friends with someone who has their medical card. They can acquire cannabis from a collective and “gift” it to you, but money cannot exchange hands.
Although the residents of California have passed recreational use for adults, our work is not over. Similar to when the MCRSA passed last October, we expect that there will be some “clean up” legislation to follow. Stay tuned—California is just getting started!