Home » Marijuana Laws by State » California


500px-California_in_United_States.svgCalifornia has been a leader in reforming marijuana laws.  In 1996, it became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. As a resident of the Golden State, it is important to know local paraphernalia laws. Here you can find a full description of California’s Health and Safety Code 11364-5.  

California Marijuana Laws
Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  
Personal Use
28.5 grams or less infraction N/A $100
28.5 grams or less, over 18 years, and occurred on school grounds misdemeanor 10 days $500
28.5 grams or less, under 18 years misdemeanor 10 days* $250
More than 28.5 grams misdemeanor 6 mos $500
With Intent to Distribute
Any amount felony 16 mos - 3 years $0
*Detention center
Sale or Delivery
Any amount felony 2 - 4 years $0
Gift of 28.5 grams or less misdemeanor N/A $100
Over 18 years to an individual 14-17 years felony 3 - 7 years $0
Any amount felony 16 mos - 3 years $0
Hash & Concentrates
Possession N/A 1 year $500
Unauthorized manufacture N/A 16 mos - 3 years $500
Chemical manufacture N/A 3 - 7 years $50,000
Sale, delivery, possession with intent, and manufacture with intent misdemeanor 15 days - 6 mos $500
Involving a minor at least 3 years junior misdemeanor 1 year $1,000
Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations.
Using a minor in the unlawful sale or transport of marijuana is a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment. Inducing a minor to use marijuana is also a felony punishable by 3-7 years imprisonment.
Any violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act results in a fine up to $150.
A person who participates in the illegal marketing of marijuana is liable for civil damages.
It is a misdemeanor to loiter in a public place with the intent to commit certain controlled substances offenses.
A controlled substance conviction can result in suspension of driving privileges.

Latest California marijuana news

500 Medical Marijuana Shops Closed in Los Angeles

marijuana dispensary

Officials in Los Angeles say they’ve shut down more than 500 illicit medical marijuana dispensaries over the last two years. Voters approved an MMJ law in 2013 that limits the number of legitimate dispensaries to roughly 120. Only shops that were already in business as of 2007 are allowed to operate. At the time the ordinance passed, there were anywhere ... Read More »

California School District Sues City Over MMJ Shops

medical marijuana

A California school district has sued the local city government, saying city officials failed to stop illegal medical marijuana dispensaries from opening near schools. The Compton Unified School District filed the lawsuit against the City of Compton in state court April 1. The suit followed a letter by the school board threatening legal action unless the city drove away the ... Read More »

San Diego’s First Legal MMJ Shop Opens

san diego green alternative

Things are starting to look up for medical marijuana patients in Southern California. The first legal dispensary in San Diego opened its doors March 18 and celebrated its grand opening a few days later. A Green Alternative went into business roughly a year ago in the wake of a vote by the San Diego City Council to allow a limited ... Read More »