What does it mean now that cannabis is 'legal'?

Under California law, adults 21 or older can use, carry, and grow cannabis. Buying cannabis (without a valid physician’s recommendation or county-issued medical marijuana identification card) will become legal under California law for adults 21 or older on January 1, 2018. Use of medicinal cannabis is legal under California law if you have a valid physician’s recommendation or a valid county-issued medical marijuana identification card. To buy medicinal cannabis, you must be 18 or older and have either a valid physician’s recommendation, a valid-county issued medical marijuana identification card or be a Primary Caregiver as defined by the Health and Safety Code, with a valid physician’s recommendation for the patient. For more information on what’s legal click here.

Beginning January 1, 2018 businesses must have both a state license and local approval to engage in commercial cannabis activity.

Within the City of Los Angeles, local approval will come from the newly established Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR).

DCR will be responsible for licensing and regulating legal cannabis businesses. For more information about the Department of Cannabis Regulation click here.

On January 1, 2018 how can I buy legal cannabis within the City of Los Angeles?

You can’t.

California law requires businesses engaging in commercial cannabis activity to have both a state license and local approval.  January 1 marks the first day that businesses with both a state licence and local approval can begin commercial sales.

Although both patients and consumers can expect the licensing process to take weeks to months, many Existing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries will quickly receive from the Department of Cannabis Regulation, the necessary authorizations to engage in commercial cannabis activity.

Legal cannabis will only be available at businesses licensed by the state and authorized by local jurisdictions.

Los Angeles Cannabis Ordinances

Cannabis Procedures
Ordinance No. 185343

Cannabis Rules and Regulations
Ordinance No. 185344

Cannabis Location Restrictions
Ordinance No. 185345

Department of Cannabis Regulation and Cannabis Regulation Commission
Ordinance No. 185025

Cannabis Enforcement, Taxation, and Regulation Act
Ordinance No. 184841

What's Illegal

It is still a crime to do any of the following:

  • Possess More Cannabis Than The Legal Limit
  • Grow More Cannabis Than The Legal Limit
  • Consume Cannabis in Public
  • Consume Cannabis While Driving
  • Drive with an Open Container of Cannabis
  • Drive While Impaired
  • Give Cannabis To Minors
  • Engage in Commercial Cannabis Activity Without a Local Temporary Approval or License

Enforcement Against Illegal, Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses

It is unlawful for a person to establish, operate, or participate as an employee, contractor, agent of volunteer, in any unlicensed commercial cannabis activity within the City.

It is unlawful for a person to establish, operate or participate in a medical marijuana collective or cooperative unless in a dwelling unit with three or fewer qualified patients, persons with identification cards or primary caregivers, or any combination thereof.

It is unlawful to rent, lease to or otherwise allow any unlicensed commercial cannabis activity or an unlawful medical marijuana collective or cooperative to occupy any building or land.

Penalties for violating these laws include but are not limited to:

  • A maximum civil penalty of $20,000 for each and every offense. Each day that a violation continues in deemed to be a new and separate offense.
  • A criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment of a period not more than six months.

The Los Angeles Police Department and City Attorney's office shall be responsible for criminal enforcement.
To Report an Illegal, Unlicensed Cannabis Business please click here.