As voters go to the polls and decide the fate of recreational marijuana use in California, stoners statewide are wondering — when can we start legally smoking weed? If the proposition passes, when do these measures go into effect, and will we still need a Medical Marijuana ID card to buy and consume cannabis?
Generally speaking, California state propositions (the ones with numbers, like “Prop. 64”) go into effect immediately after the election — at midnight on Nov. 9. But in reality, the results aren’t official until each of the 58 counties in the state sends their certified election results to the secretary of state. So a close vote on Prop. 64 could delay your long-awaited legal smoke-out.
But if Prop. 64 passes, when do its components go into effect?
When Can We Start Smoking Weed?
You will be able to possess and smoke up to an ounce of marijuana immediately if Prop. 64 passes.
Smoking marijuana in public will still be illegal, just as it technically is now. But you’ve perhaps have noticed this is not strongly enforced in San Francisco.
Will I Still Need a Card to Buy From a Dispensary?
Unfortunately, yes you will. Dispensaries are licensed to sell medical marijuana — not recreational marijuana. They will not be able to sell recreational marijuana to non-carded “patients” until recreational sales licenses are issued by the state. “Adult use sales would commence Jan. 1, 2018, contingent on local government licensing,” according to CA NORML.
Can You Buy and Smoke Weed If You’re Not a California Resident?
Any “persons aged 21 years or older” will be able to use recreational marijuana according to the text of Prop. 64. That includes out-of-staters.
But dispensaries will still only sell to Californians with a doctor’s recommendation until they are licensed to sell recreational cannabis in 2018. So some weed tourists may be unhappy campers for the next year or so.
Will My Corner Store Start Selling Marijuana?
No. Recreational cannabis cannot be sold in places where tobacco or alcohol are sold.
When Can I Legally Possess a Marijuana Plant?
Immediately upon passage of Prop. 64! You can possess up to six marijuana plants, but you can’t keep them out in the open.
Your plants must be “locked and not visible from a public place” according to the text of Proposition 64.