The global cannabis industry has grown enormously over the past couple of years. Gone are the days when the industry was struggling, the cannabis world has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry and the United States have been at the forefront of this development. California led America in legalizing medical marijuana, making it possible for patients with a doctor’s prescription to legally use medical marijuana. Marijuana usage for recreational purposes was also later legalized in California, and with it a boom in the cannabis industry. One of the fastest growing sector of the cannabis industry is the cultivation sector. Marijuana growers are the foundation of the cannabis industry, their importance to the sustenance of the cannabis industry cannot be overemphasized.
The legalization of recreational cannabis in the state of California was the biggest catalyst to fuel the rocket i.e cannabis cultivation. Unlike before when such practices were frowned on you can now legally grow weed in california if you have the proper documents. California mandates that everyone gets a cannabis card to have the legal freedom to grow a specified number of cannabis plants. ‘Emphasis on specified number’ because that’s where it gets tricky; “how many marijuana plants can I grow in California with my cannabis card?” what are the penalties if I exceed the acceptable range? Read on to find out!
The number of plants to grow legally in California for patients and caregivers
Under Proposition 215, the law states that patients and caregivers can grow up to six mature marijuana plants, 12 immature plants and have eight ounces of dried cannabis in their possession. To increase this quantity of cannabis, patients and caregivers must be “qualified” before planting.
To be qualified, patients and caregivers should get a recommendation from a licensed physician, and the cannabis must be grown for personal and not commercial uses.
There are also specifications for the planting area as the California cannabis laws insist that patients plant on no more than 100 square feet. Caregivers are to plant on no more than 500 square feet per residence, and they can only assist five patients at a time.
The number of cannabis plants to grow legally in California for recreational purposes
The State of California has different laws regarding the number of plants that can be legally planted for various purposes. In addition to patients and caregivers, you can also grow cannabis for recreational purposes. The law allows adults over the age of 21 to grow six cannabis plants per residence. It should be noted that an increase above this number can lead to criminal penalties.
Unlike medical marijuana where different laws and regulations apply to patients and caregivers, those who plant for recreational gains do not have to get a recommendation from a doctor. The legal requirement for growing cannabis plants in California is for the planter to be at least 21 years old.
A closer look at cannabis cards
All of these laws and specific requirements for planting cannabis are enforced via cannabis cards. Newbies often ask why it is essential to get a cannabis card, especially in California, well here are a few reasons:
The card allows you to use or plant marijuana legally
It helps you get cheaper and safer medical cannabis products
It’s easier to plant cannabis in your home with the card
How to get a cannabis card in California
The cannabis card is obtained from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) under the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP). The card was made mandatory to enable law enforcement and the public to verify the authenticity of a qualified patient, caregiver, or recreational user.
Participation in the MMICP process to get the cannabis card is voluntary as it is meant to confirm if you can possess, cultivate, use transport cannabis in California. There are also specified dates for the card’s validity: this is based on your role as either a patient caregiver or user.
There are two ways to get the card:
The traditional application method
Although technology has made the application and card collection process faster, you may want to use this traditional method if you are more old-fashioned.
First, you must be 18+ in age, and if you are not, you will need written approval from a parent or a guardian. It might be possible that someone below 18 needs medical marijuana treatment for an ailment or disease.
Next, you schedule an appointment with a doctor to examine you to determine if you qualify for cannabis use. You are also meant to provide valid proof of ID and proof of residency as only California residents can apply. With these requirements, you can fill the application form on the government’s website and then use it in person at your county program center to get your card.
Please note that the county may take up to 30 days to verify your application, and after verification, it may take an additional 35 days to get your MMIC. The cannabis card is valid for one year, after which is the renewal process if required.
The modern procedure
If the traditional method seems too long for you, you can make use of the modern procedure. This basically involves relying on companies that can help you with the application process. Register with the service company, provide all personal details, and you will be connected with a doctor.
If you are qualified, you will get a mail containing your medical marijuana recommendation letter in about 10 minutes and a hard copy some days after. You also get a 7-character ID code registered with California’s marijuana program. Now you can use the recommendation letter to purchase or plant marijuana.
So what’s next after getting the card? You need to ensure that you abide by the storage and handling rules. Although California issues the cannabis cards to qualified individuals, those who do not comply with subsequent cannabis laws will be fined.
Laws for cannabis storage and handling in California
Cannabis grown in your residence must be stored based on the government’s recommendations, especially if you grow more than 1 oz of the usable cannabis plant. The rules for storage and handling include:
All cannabis buds must be kept at home (planted and used)
The plants should be grown in an enclosed space.
The cannabis plants should not be visible from a public space.
Failure to abide by these laws will result in the punishment with a fine of $250.
You can legally plant up to six mature cannabis plants in your home with a cannabis card; either as a patient, a caregiver, or a recreational user. The California state government instituted the card system to ensure that all cannabis users are eligible, and abuse is reduced as much as possible. If you live in California, use the steps outlined above to get your card and have a great time planting cannabis!