What Have Been the Effects of California Cannabis Regulations?

Marijuana regulations vary from one place to another. Some states allow the sale and shipping of different marijuana and hemp products, including CBD (cannabidiol) oil, concentrates, dry herbs and flowers, waxes, and edibles, among others. After almost a century of having illegal status in most regions around the world, cannabis regulation is experiencing tremendous changes. In the US, for instance, medical marijuana is legal, provided you have a professional doctor’s certificate that clears you to use such products. However, this is federal law. Each state has different marijuana laws and regulations. Below is a brief overview of the California cannabis regulations and how they impact the cannabis industry.

What are California cannabis laws?


California has a unique history with cannabis laws and is among one of the earliest regions to adopt a legislature that permits the sale of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana became legal in California in 1996. Two decades later, the state made recreational marijuana legal. It is one of the dozen states that permit the sale of medical marijuana. However, you can still mail order other cannabis products that do not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). According to federal law, it is legal to ship CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC. CBD does not have the psychoactive properties of THC, so it does not get your high. Although cannabis is legal in California, various regulations govern its availability and sale. The important areas include:

Purchasing, possessing and consuming cannabis

The purchase of cannabis is only legal for customers who are 21 years and above, so you will need to produce your national ID at the marijuana dispensary. Once you meet this age limit, you can buy, possess, transport, and process cannabis and its products. However, you can only carry up to 8 ounces of cannabis concentrate or half a pound of dry herb at a time. It is illegal to smoke vape or ingest cannabis in public places, tobacco-free zones, and within 1000 feet of facilities that children use. Nonetheless, you can use legal cannabis products like CBD oil anywhere. If you prefer vaping or joints, various marijuana lounges allow in-house cannabis consumption.

Growing and exporting cannabis


If you are older than 21 years, then the California state permits the personal cultivation of cannabis. You can only grow six plants at a time for personal use. Industrial marijuana and hemp cultivation use different regulations. If you prefer to grow your cannabis, you can buy autoflower seeds online or find reputable retailers that can guarantee high-quality organic options. Exporting marijuana, in all its forms, apart from non-THC products like CBD oil, is illegal regardless of whether the product is legal in both states. The 8-ounce rule also still plays so you cannot transport above the permissible limit. If you are growing cannabis, it must be in a secure place that is away from public view.

Medical cannabis


The recent wave of legalizing cannabis products stems from emerging studies that show great promise in using it for a myriad of health conditions. Today, doctors can prescribe cannabis as a complementary treatment for the following medical conditions:

  • Chronic pain, back pain, injury pain, and post-surgery pain.
  • Inflammation and swelling.
  • Seizure and epilepsy.
  • Anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Depression and mental health conditions.
  • Cardiovascular health.
  • Digestion, appetite and gastrointestinal issues.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Rest and recovery.

Medical cannabis is also available for treating cancer, anorexia, AIDs, glaucoma, skin infections, muscle spasms, and migraines, among others. It comes in various forms, including waxes, concentrates and shatters, powder, edibles and gummies, oils, and tinctures.

Other regulations

Various other minor laws govern the use of cannabis in California. Driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana, for instance, can cost you up to 6 months in jail. All frameworks about the availability of medicinal cannabis are available in the MAUCRSA (Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act). This framework contains new regulations of 2019. According to OAL (Office of Administrative Law), it replaces all the emergency regulations of 2017.

How do California cannabis regulations affect the industry?


California boasts the largest cannabis market in the world, reporting upwards of $2.5 billion in legal sales in 2018 alone. Pundits project a 23% increase in 2019 to push marijuana sales to $3.1 billion. However, the state also has an infamous black market where there are three unregistered cannabis businesses for every legal retailer. In 2017, California adopted emergency cannabis regulations.  Even then, many states began to amend their legislature on the classification of various cannabis products. Today, more than a dozen states in the US allow the use of medical marijuana. Several others permit cannabis for recreational use. You can examine the real effects of California cannabis regulations under the following aspects:

  • Regional adoption of cannabis 

Cannabis is legal in many states and places across the world. In Canada, you can find marijuana for medical and recreational use. You can even mail order different cannabis products from an online dispensary and have it delivered at your doorstep. In Australia, medical cannabis is available to select individuals with medical certificates that allow them to use marijuana for specific health conditions. In the US, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, while Michigan became the tenth state to legalize recreational use. When medical cannabis first became legal in California in 1996, other states quickly followed suit. However, the federal government still prohibits cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. 

  • Cannabis products and consumption 

California’s cannabis regulations also open up the industry to new markets and products.  Legalization allows manufacturers to come up with innovative and efficient ways to deliver active marijuana compounds and cannabinoids. In places where cannabis is legal, you can find various forms, including the traditional flower and dry herb. Vaping is also another emerging practice, and there are several options like shatters, powders, concentrates and waxes. You can find hemp and CBD oil with varying percentages of THC. Other options include topical balms, cannabis edibles, baked goods, and drinks. Once cannabis became legal, the California state could no longer prevent users from growing their plants. Nonetheless, California farmers have cultivated different cannabis strains such as industrial hemp since the 18 century. 

  • Research and studies

The legalization of medical cannabis in California quickly led to a new probe into the subject. CBD, which is the main active medicinal compound in cannabis, can aid the treatment of various conditions. It is also available for pets like dogs. The therapeutic benefits of CBD became so popular after cannabis legalization, thanks to more promising results from lab rat tests and different groups. As more people use cannabis, it will be easier to determine the long and short-term benefits and impacts of using medical marijuana. Other groups also focus on the downsides of using cannabis, especially for recreational purposes.

  • Strains and availability 

As more places continue to legalize cannabis, different local strains and hybrids have sprung, and the trend does not seem to stop. Cannabis is also more available in both premised lounges and online retailers. Finding a dispensary is an effortless task, and you can order cannabis from another state. Organizers of cannabis festivals can also obtain permits to promote and introduce new marijuana products legally.

Safety and legal conflicts


Although cannabis products such as CBD show promising results in treating pain, inflammation, seizures, and other health conditions, there are different safety and quality concerns. If you are using cannabis for medical purposes, it is crucial to purchase high-quality products from reputable retailers. Organic farm marijuana is the best you can find, so you should review where your product is coming from. THC toxicity is also another concern. While it is impossible to overdose from cannabis, elevated levels of THC can cause different undesirable symptoms. In California, you need the approval of a licensed professional doctor to use cannabis for a medical condition. This makes it easier to determine the right dosage and mode of delivery.

With regard to legal ambiguity, the conflict only occurs with federal laws. According to Proposition 215, cannabis is legal in California for both medical and recreational use. However, federal law still prohibits cannabis, which falls under Schedule 1 drugs. 


California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana and also spearheads most pushback against federal laws that inhibit the availability and use of such products. The market share makes it the largest in the world. There are several dispensaries, lounges, and online retailers that offer the entire range of cannabis products. It is essential to go through all the little aspects of cannabis regulations to ensure you are on the right side of the law. If you are a farmer, for instance, go through the Farm Bill to understand all the compliances and regulations farmers should follow.

On the other hand, if you plan to ship cannabis products such as CBD, you must review the shipping and labeling regulations. Users need to be of legal age and possess not more than the permissible volume at a given time. There are various other areas to consider, including using cannabis at the workplace and operating machinery under the influence. Pay close attention to quality, dosage, and potency.