On November 8, 2016 California voters passed Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, partially legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. While some people think that California legalized marijuana “across the board”, this is simply not true. Instead, California created a variety of different laws that effect everyone differently depending on age, prior criminal history, nature of the offense, amount of marijuana, etc.
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act permits persons 21 years of age or older to legally possess, transport, purchase, and consume up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, and up to 4 grams of marijuana concentrates. The new law also permits adults, 21 years of age or older, to grow up to 6 marijuana plants per household, out of public view (verify your local ordinances).
However, California Health and Safety Code §11357(a) and (b) specifies that a person under 18, who possess marijuana or marijuana concentrate is guilty of an infraction.
If you are over 18 years of age and less than 21, and possess no more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or 4 grams of marijuana concentrate, California Health and Safety Code §11357(a) designates the offense as an infraction. If you are over 18 and possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than 4 grams of marijuana concentrate, California Health and Safety Code §11357(b) designates the offense as a misdemeanor.
In regards to cultivation, California Health and Safety Code §11358 indicates that a person under 18 who cultivates marijuana is guilty of an infraction. If you are 18-21 years old and you cultivate 6 marijuana plants or less, the offense is punishable as an infraction. If you are over 18 and cultivate more than 6 plants, the offense becomes a misdemeanor.
But wait, if you are a person designated in California Health and Safety Code §11358(d) [2 prior cultivation convictions, 290 registrant, prior serious/violent felony conviction, the present offense involved a violation of various Fish and Game or Water Code sections, or other violations regarding hazardous waste, etc.] then growing more than 6 marijuana plants becomes a felony.
Possession of Marijuana for Sale in violation of California Health and Safety Code §11359 follows a similar layout as to cultivation.
Employing or using a person 20 years of age or younger to sale or cultivate marijuana, if you are 21 or older, is a felony.
Confused yet? Well also consider the Federal government has a complete different set of laws regarding marijuana; Counties enforce the State laws differently; and even Cities have passed their own regulations as to cultivation.
Caught in the middle of this government bureaucracy are the Medical Marijuana Patients and/or Caregivers that rely on marijuana for their well-being.
California Health and Safety Code§11362.77(b) allows a qualified patient or caregiver to exceed 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants, and 8 ounces of marijuana, where a doctor determines that the lower quantity does not meet the patient’s needs.
Qualified patients and caregivers cannot be prosecuted solely for exceeding the limits set forth in California Health and Safety Code §11362.77(a), but law enforcement has now assumed the role of the treating physician and will arrest you for marijuana offenses under the theory that “even though your doctor has recommended ‘X’ amount, we believe there is no reasonable way you could consume that and therefore you are cultivating, possessing, or transporting marijuana for the purpose of sales”.
To confuse the situation further, add Collectives; Cooperatives; so-called “expired” recommendations; Transporting Marijuana; Out of State Recommendations; etc. and now qualified patients and caregivers find themselves in the middle of a legal arena, despite having made every attempt to comply with the Compassionate Use Act.
The attorneys at Hinely Law recognize that California has provided qualified patients and caregivers the right to legally cultivate and possess medical marijuana. Many of these patients have committed themselves to using a medicine that is natural and has been in existence since 1839 (introduced into Western Medicine); rather than pills produced with various chemicals in a lab setting.
The attorneys at Hinely Law represent Medical Patients and Caregivers charged with cultivation, sales, and transportation in Northern California. We use the best marijuana experts in the industry to present a case and demonstrate that our clients legally possessed or cultivated marijuana; often resulting in cases being dismissed even before Trial.
NOTE: Although you have a valid recommendation to cultivate marijuana, check with local ordinances as many counties and cities have regulations placing further restrictions on cultivation.
The information contained on this page should not be considered a guideline as to how many marijuana plants you can legally cultivate, or how much marijuana you can legally possess, as there are too many variations. Consult with an Attorney!!
I was charged with Transportation/Sales of Marijuana, Cultivation, and Possession. Everything was dismissed outright!! I would like to thank John and his staff for all of the diligent work they provided in getting this case dropped. John’s expertise and knowledge of the law in our case was impeccable. We will definitely refer him as an attorney and your firm to others.J.F.
A real mensch! Mr. Hinely represented my daughter in a possession of cannabis case. John carried out my daughter’s defense with utmost care, talent, and professionalism as an attorney. During preparation for the trial, John was on task every step of the way, and did a fantastic job of thoroughly collecting all relevant data, communicating updates, and brilliantly navigating through unforeseen circumstances. His patience and unrushed manner gave me a sense of good will that exists between good friends and relatives. The verdict was NOT GUILTY! Thank you, John!I.F.
Simply the Best attorney! Mr. Hinely did an outstanding job on my case! He is very knowledgeable and keeps you informed throughout the entire case. The end result was my criminal case was completely dismissed. I would definitely recommend him.J.S.