What to know about 2018's new marijuana laws in California

Marijuana Laws: What to Know
Marijuana Laws: What to Know
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 17:51:09-05

(KGTV) - California’s new recreational marijuana laws took effect Jan. 1, 2018. Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about pot consumption under the state's Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

Cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and its purchase, possession, distribution, or use within California may be unlawful under federal law. 

NOTE: All information is provided by the California Dept. of Public Health on Oct. 17, 2017, and may be subject to change. 

RELATED: Timeline: How marijuana laws have changed in California


  • Adults 21 and older can use, carry, purchase, and grow cannabis. That includes up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of cannabis and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.
  • You can only buy cannabis at retail outlets licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
  • Although you can legally possess cannabis, it is illegal for you to sell it without a license.

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  • You can plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, and process up to six cannabis plants in your private residence or on the grounds of your residence.
  • Plants must be in a locked space that is not visible to the public. 
  • Cities and counties may prohibit the outdoor cultivation of cannabis.
  • Property owners and landlords may ban the use, growth, and possession of cannabis on their properties.

RELATED: San Diego pot shops to stock up with demand


  • You cannot use cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present.
  • Even though it is legal under California law, employers have the right to prohibit the use of cannabis by their employees.
  • Cannabis can be consumed on private property but not in public places.


  • If you are under the influence of cannabis while operating a car, boat, or other vehicle, a law enforcement officer can pull you over and conduct a sobriety test. Violators are subject to DUI laws.
  • Having an open container of cannabis in a vehicle while driving or riding in the passenger seat is against the law.
  • If you have cannabis in a vehicle, it must be in an approved sealed package or container. Otherwise, it must be kept in the trunk.

RELATED: California regulators release rules for marijuana


  • Cannabis may not be consumed or possessed on federal lands like national parks, even if the park is in California.
  • It is illegal to take cannabis across state lines, even if you’re traveling to another state where cannabis is legal.
  • Cities and counties may have stricter laws about cannabis that are in addition to the state law.


California Department of Public Health: Let's Talk Cannabis

California Cannabis Portal

City of San Diego Marijuana Guidelines