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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Recreational marijuana use: What is too far?

After years of back-and-forth, marijuana was legalized for recreational use in California on Jan. 1, 2018. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) has presented Californians with new freedoms and restrictions on how they consume cannabis.

Understandably, this may raise concerns about what members of your homeowners association are doing. Here is a look at what is and is not acceptable use of marijuana under this new law.

Medicinal marijuana

The laws on consuming marijuana for medical purposes remain largely the same:

  • Medical marijuana is legal to consume when the user’s current physician recommends it and the user possesses a valid ID card issued by the county.
  • In addition to the above stipulations, buyers of medical marijuana must be at least 18 years old and may only buy from sources licensed by the California Bureau of Marijuana Control.

There has been a long history of discussion around how marijuana may be used medicinally. California was an early adopter of the policy and continues to uphold it as an option for those that need it.

Recreational marijuana

The new laws make consuming marijuana privately much easier for Californians. They are as follows:

  • Only adults 21 years old or older may use marijuana recreationally.
  • Individuals may purchase and carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana. They may not sell or receive payment for it unless they are licensed to do so by the California Bureau of Marijuana Control.
  • It is legal to grow, harvest, dry and process up to six marijuana plants in a private residence or on the grounds of a residence.
  • Landlords and property owners may ban the possession and use of marijuana on their property.
  • Marijuana may be used on private property. It cannot be used in public places or on federal lands like national parks.
  • Recreational users may not consume marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present.
  • Marijuana may not be carried across state lines, even if it is carried into another state with legal recreational use.

These are the broad strokes of new recreational marijuana use laws in California, though laws do vary somewhat from county to county. Be sure to consult with an attorney to make sure you fully understand how the law affects your specific HOA and neighborhood.

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