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Frequently asked questions

What are the medical marijuana laws in California?

Here is an overview of the medical marijuana laws in California:

 

1972 – California became the first state to vote on a ballot which argued for the legalization of cannabis. Proposition 19 would have legalized use, possession and cultivation of cannabis (but not commercial sales). It lost 33 percent to 67 percent but set California up as a state which would lead the way.

 

1996 – Medical marijuana law comes into effect – Proposition 215 refers to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 which is still in effect today. This passage exempts patients and defined caregivers who possess or cultivate cannabis for medical treatment and who have a physician’s recommendation from punishment under state law. California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis.

 

2003 – Senate Bill 420 clarified much of the language in the initial law and established the current identification-card system for medical cannabis patients.

 

2016 – Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalized the recreational use of cannabis. It passed with 57 percent of the vote. Recreational cannabis enthusiasts can possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower or 8 grams of concentrate (e.g. hashish, wax, shatter).

 

2019 – Amendments were passed via Senate Bill 34 which allowes licensed retailers and dispensaries to provide medical cannabis for free to qualified patients who are for certain reasons unable to access product.

 

2020 – Governor Newsom issued an executive order which extended existing MMICs beyond the original expiration date due to Covid-19 and a lack of access to some facilities