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While at the federal level any activities related to cultivating or distributing, and even consuming, marijuana is considered offenses, many states decided to make it easier for both recreational users and those with medical conditions requiring marijuana use to purchase, transport, and grow cannabis. 18 states as well as Washington D.C. made significant changes to their laws relaxing their stances towards marijuana.
California has been on the pioneering frontiers in terms of legalizing cannabis. The first significant move was made in 1996 with the approval of proposition 215 or the “Compassionate Use Act”. This law made medical marijuana legal to use in all counties. Later, in 2016, Proposition 64 legalized recreational use by adults 21 and older.
Currently, California is the best state for both farmers who want to focus on growing domestic strains of cannabis and for users. You only need to have an MMJ ID and a physician’s prescription to purchase and carry marijuana in allowed quantities.
It is important to note that all adults above 21 may purchase and use cannabis and its derivative products recreationally but a significant tax will be applied to any such purchase from a dispensary (15%). If you would like to avoid fees and unnecessary payments towards the state budget, consider getting a medical marijuana id card in California.
People from outside of California, both citizens of the US and tourists, may purchase, carry, and use marijuana recreationally if other conditions are met (over 21 years old, less than 5 grams of cannabis concentrate in possession). Currently, Californian dispensaries do not accept MMJ IDs from other states but any adult can receive a card after paying a small government fee.
Note that visitors from other states should not take any cannabis purchased in California across the state’s border. Since it is still illegal to own, distribute, or use cannabis recreationally and even due to a medical condition on the federal level, transporting marijuana across states is still considered a crime. Non-residents are not subjected to stricter measures unlike in other states such as Colorado where such users may possess only up to an ounce of concentrate or flower without committing a crime. Californian laws are the friendliest in terms of recreational use. Additionally, getting a medical marijuana ID card in California comes with a small benefit. You can use it in Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Oklahoma.
Warning! Each state has its laws regulating how much marijuana you can possess and use so be careful when purchasing cannabis as an out-of-state resident.
Currently, California does not recognize any cards issued by other states and you will not receive your benefits of purchasing from dispensaries without a locally issued one. The only downside is that recreational users pay an extra 15% in taxes when purchasing from dispensaries. The tax is quite hefty and cuts any potential discounts that you may have obtained as a regular.
Since acquiring a medical marijuana ID is a simple process that takes less than 10 minutes of your time and allows you to quickly become a recognized user of medical marijuana, there is virtually no reason for you not to get one. If you want to get not only an MMJ card but also MMIC, then you need to contact the health department of your county. The fee is less than $50 and the costs will be recouped with just a couple of purchases at any Californian dispensary.