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2018 Marijuana Laws for Riverside County, CA

Posted in Drug FAQ'S on January 23, 2018

The New Year came with one especially exciting new law for California’s cannabis enthusiasts – the legalization of recreational marijuana. California is now one of eight states (plus the District of Columbia) to allow marijuana for recreational use. Before you visit your local dispensary, however, get to know some of the facts about how the new law works, and what you can and can’t do in Riverside County. Here’s a breakdown of the most important things to know:

  • Starting January 1st, 2018, recreational marijuana is legal in Riverside County and throughout California. Proposition 64 makes it now legal for people 21 and older to use and grow marijuana for personal, non-medicinal use within the state.

  • It is now legal for adults to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis per day in California, or up to eight grams of cannabis concentrates. It is also legal to cultivate up to six marijuana plants per private residence, as long as the cultivation area remains out of public site and locked up.

  • It is still illegal to consume marijuana in public places and while driving. Smoking or otherwise consuming cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, recreation center, or youth center for recreational or medicinal purposes can come with harsh penalties.

  • You cannot drive under the influence of marijuana in California. Although it is legal to consume marijuana recreationally, it remains against the law to drive under the influence. Local police have ramped up their DUI enforcement efforts since the passing of the new law, creating checkpoints and other methods to catch high drivers. The penalty for driving high is a $70 citation.

  • To purchase marijuana for recreational use, visit a licensed dispensary. You will need to show a valid driver’s license or other acceptable form of ID, typically at the door before you’re allowed entry. Most dispensaries only accept cash, so come prepared.

  • Under the new law, there will be greater taxation on marijuana sales, leading to price hikes. The state now imposes a 15% excise tax on all cannabis retail sales, a $9.25/ounce tax on the production of cannabis flowers, and a $2.75/ounce tax on the production of cannabis leaves. Medical marijuana purchases are exempt from the 7.5% state tax.

  • Riverside County has enacted its own restrictions on marijuana cultivation for personal use. County Ordinance 925 prohibits the cultivation of marijuana in unincorporated areas or outside city limits. There is a limited enforcement exemption in place for licensed medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.

  • In Riverside County, the law does not permit cannabis-related commercial enterprises in incorporated areas of the county (i.e. near Lake Elsinore). However, county officials are in talks of creating an ordinance that would allow the wider development of marijuana-related businesses.

  • According to federal law, it is still illegal to use or grow marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. Marijuana remains an illegal controlled substance in the eyes of the federal government. However, federal persecution for marijuana-related offenses typically only happens to marijuana businesses and large-scale cultivators.

For more information about the legal side of California’s new recreational marijuana laws, get in touch with local defense attorneys in Riverside County. Under the new law, it’s also possible to revisit past marijuana related convictions and reduce current sentences or have the incident removed from your record. Our Riverside criminal lawyer Graham Donath can help advise further.