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Reefer Madness

On January 1st, 2018, recreational marijuana sales became legal in California. Snack manufacturers and convenience stores rejoice! But just because it's legal, doesn't mean you can grow weed in your front lawn, at work, or at the bar. In fact, thanks to Jeff Sessions' bizzaro reefer obsession, nobody's sure what weed's deal is at the moment. Here's what you need to know:

What are the basic CA rules of buying?

  • Must be 21 and over
  • You can buy one ounce or eight grams of concentrates (found in edibles) a day
  • It's only legal to buy between the hours of 6am-10pm
  • State-licensed recreational dispensaries are regulated by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control
  • OH, and customers will need cash! (It's like the farmers market, only more relaxing!) Most dispensaries wont accept cards because federal law prohibits banks and credit unions from taking marijuana money.

How much is it going to cost?

The cost will likely be more than what people are used to paying in medical dispensaries because the state is imposing a 15% tax on all recreational weed products, which will be in addition to any local tax. If it follows the same pattern as the markets in Colorado and Washington, however, the tax will decrease over time because...well...business is likely to be brisk!

Where can I spark it?

See what we did there? We made marijuana about US!

Sorry, wait, there was a question in here. Here's the deal: you can only consume marijuana on private property. It's not legal to use it in public places and it should go without saying that anywhere smoking tobacco is illegal is also a no go for weed. It is, not surprisingly, also illegal to consume cannabis while driving, and there are actually regulations concerning how you can store cannabis in your car. It has to be in a sealed container to be upfront with you. If it's in an open container, it has to be locked away in the trunk. Violations are considered infractions and carry fines, plus DUI laws still obviously apply to cannabis users.

FYI, the University of California and California State University systems say they don't plan to change their policies barring marijuana. Buzzkill.

FYI, the University of California and California State University systems say they don't plan to change their policies barring marijuana. Buzzkill.

Also, many company policies likely have not caught up to the new law yet either.

What about all this news about Jeff Sessions and the Feds? Is it going to stay legal?

It may be legal at the state level, but weed's relationship status with the federal government is...complicated (or maybe broken up?). Jeff Sessions announced last week that he would rescind the Cole memo, an Obama-era policy which ordered federal prosecutors not to pursue marijuana cases in states that had made it legal and left it to individual states to regulate their respective cannabis industries.

Of course, the federal budget prohibits the DOJ from using federal funds to prosecute medical cannabis and, frankly, federal prosecutors don't seem interested in going after state cases. It's widely considered a kind of annoying waste of time when there's real crimes and stuff still out there.

Anything else we need to know?

Your landlord has the power to ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties, and it's also still legal to fire somebody for having weed in their system. Employer's discretion. (Hope your boss is cool?)