I know what you’re thinking? Maybe I can save money and not get my medical marijuana license.
Let’s go over the facts:
With the legalizing of pot in California, back in 2016, a lot changed. The detractors spoke as if the smell of marijuana would permeate every ounce of air from Death Valley to the coast-traveling HWY 1. The supporters acted as if folks could start smoking joints in line at Starbucks waiting for the new Vanilla Cannabichino. Well neither has happened, though a Vanilla Cannabichino could be a thing.
The reality is, the approval of Prop 64 did have some huge implications but not for everyone. Those it did affect were individuals arrested for non-violent, marijuana based charges. Prop 64 gave the opportunity for the reducing of those sentences. This was similar to the passing of Prop 2014 which allows people who are already serving a felony conviction for [a marijuana crime] to petition in the court for resentencing. Of course, these props have more to do with the criminal justice system, but they do bear mentioning.
Then there were those who already used marijuana under the medical provision established in 1996 who maybe felt now it’ll be a lot easier to purchase. They assume there will be more freedom to use it. It is definitely easier to get with the dispensaries opening up all over California. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean using it is more acceptable.
So back to the question: Do I still need a medical marijuana license when pot is legalized in California?
In most cases the answer is – it’s better than not having it. There are some benefits like being able to grow up to 6 plants in your home. Getting seeds without a license can be extremely hard. You are also able to drive with up to an ounce of weed, if you’re 21 or over. However, if an officer pulls you over it will be better to have a license in your possession.
If you are carrying more than an ounce of medical marijuana in your vehicle you can face a misdemeanor and a fine of $500. Smoking in public is also not an option. You can use vapes in many. Notwithstanding each establishment has their rules about smoking of any kind. The fine for smoking marijuana can range from $100-250 depending on the area. Also, having a medical license doesn’t exempt you from any driving infractions.
Some other benefits of having a medical license:
- Any Prop 64 restrictions, limits, commercial regulations, and cultivation tax don’t apply to medical marijuana patients.
- Lower fees on things like ID cards.
- Medical marijuana license holders also have rights in terms of child custody.
- Break on state and local sales and use taxes if they have a state medical card.
- Restrictions on the release of medical license holders’ information.
- 24-hour notice of any request of information from database holding license card holders’ information.
So…. Do I still need a medical marijuana license when pot is legalized in California?
Ultimately, having a medical license definitely still has its advantages. For the most part the new recreational laws make things a little easier for medical marijuana users. It also provides them some protection and makes purchasing a little nicer with lower prices in some instances. If you got one, keep it, use it. It can’t hurt and in some cases in certainly helps.