The Marijuana Policy Project has a regularly-updated summary on the status of California cannabis legislation.
According to the California Department of Justice, qualified patients and caregivers may possess 8 ounces of dried marijuana, as long as they possess a state-issued identification card. In addition, they may only maintain 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants. The report also says that local governments may allow patients or caregivers to exceed these base levels.
In addition, marijuana smoking is also restricted by location. It may not be smoked wherever smoking is prohibited by law, within 1000 feet of a school, recreation center, or youth center, on a school bus, or in a moving vehicle or boat. Marijuana use is not to be accommodated in the workplace or in any type of correctional facilities. It is important to note that under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, an employer may terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana use.
In recognition of the fact that the guidelines are inadequate for many very ill patients, SB 420 allows patients to be exempted from them if they obtain a physician’s statement that they need more.In deference to local autonomy, SB 420 also allows counties and cities to establish higher – but not lower – guidelines if they so choose. It also specifically allowed cannabis cooperatives. The bill clarified the scope and application of California Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and established the California medical marijuana program, including
- requiring the State Department of Health Services to establish and maintain a voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients and would establish procedures under which a qualified patient with an identification card may use marijuana for medical purposes
- creating various crimes related to the identification card program
- authorizing the Attorney General to set forth and clarify details concerning possession and cultivation limits, and other regulations, as specified
- authorizing the Attorney General to recommend modifications to the possession or cultivation limits set forth in the bill and requiring the Attorney General to develop and adopt guidelines to ensure the security and nondiversion of marijuana grown for medical use
The California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act
On September 11, 2015, the California Legislature passed a series of bills that together would establish California’s first statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis businesses. AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643 each contain key provisions of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. These laws would govern cultivating, processing, transporting, testing, and distributing medical cannabis to qualified patients.