Understanding Prop 64

medical-cannabis-doctors-altadenaUPDATE: Many Collectives and dispensaries DO NOT have their recreational license yet to sell recreational cannabis in January 2018-Los Angeles Times

Now that Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, has passed In California, adults can now use cannabis for recreational use. However, for patients who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, what does this mean for a patient?

Here are some frequently asked questions concerning Proposition 64.

  1. Can law enforcement still bother me if I am in possession of cannabis?

Under Proposition 64, adults can now legally use cannabis for recreational use in California. Therefore, if you are stopped by law enforcement and you have cannabis in your possession up to 1oz and up to 8 grams of concentrate, you are fine. However, if you have cannabis more than the legal amount in your possession, you could face criminal charges on a state and federal level.

  1. So I don’t need a recommendation letter to buy cannabis at a collective or dispensary?

Yes, you still need a valid recommendation letter to buy cannabis at a collective or dispensary from a California Licensed Medical Doctor (MD) or California Licensed Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) until January 1st, 2018.  Collectives and dispensaries need to get a special license from the state for retail sale of medical cannabis. That won’t happen until early 2018.

Therefore, if you are in possession of cannabis now, you are legally safe. However, when you run out, you are NOT able to purchase cannabis from a collective or dispensary until they get the proper license from the state unless you have a recommendation letter.

After January 1st, 2018, only persons 21 years and older can go into a collective or dispensary to purchase medicine without a recommendation letter. Persons under 21 years of age will need to have a recommendation letter in order to purchase cannabis at a collective or dispensary.

  1. Can I still grow marijuana plants under Prop 64?

Yes, you can. However, now you can only grow LESS. Under Prop 64, adults are allowed to only have six (6) immature plants and when they blossom, keep the three (3) best.

  1. I am safe to transport cannabis, right?

Yes, but again, be mindful of how much cannabis you have on your person. Under Prop 64, adults can use cannabis for recreational use ONLY in California and are allowed to carry and transport up to 1 oz. If you transport cannabis on an airplane or across states lines, you are breaking federal laws. Remember, cannabis is still a Schedule I Drug and is illegal as stipulated by the DEA.

  1. When collectives and dispensaries get the required license from the state, will they be required to test their medicine?

Yes. As a result, the cost of cannabis might increase depending on where you purchase your medicine.

  1. I hear there will be a “excise” tax on cannabis. What is that?

Once collectives and dispensaries get the proper licensing to sell cannabis retail to the public, there will be an excise tax anywhere from 15%-30% tax on cannabis and cannabis products. Thus, increasing the price of cannabis. Cities will be required to collect this additional tax.

  1. If I have a recommendation letter, will I still have to pay the excise tax?

Unfortunately yes. However, patients who have a valid recommendation letter from a California medical marijuana doctor  AND a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) from your county health department office will be exempt from paying sales and use tax. Everyone will be required to pay the excise tax.

  1. If cannabis is now legal to use, can I get fired at my job if I use cannabis?

Yes. Employers still have the right to terminate an employee if THC metabolites are found in their urine sample or if your job has a “No Drug” policy. Even patients with a recommendation letter can still be terminated or not hired for a job. Check with your Human Resource department if employees can use cannabis for medicinal use with a valid recommendation letter.

  1. Once collectives and dispensaries get the license to sell retail, if I’m 18, can I buy cannabis?

No. You will need to be 21 years of age to purchase cannabis from a collective or dispensary. If a 21 year old gives cannabis to an individual under the age of 21, there will be steep fines.

  1. But if I’m 18 years old and have a recommendation letter, I can buy medicine, right?

Yes. If you are under 21 years of age and wish to purchase cannabis, you will need to have a recommendation letter from a “California medical marijuana doctor.”


Although Proposition 64 allows adults to use cannabis for recreational use, it’s very important to understand the law and to treat cannabis responsibly as if it were alcohol. To learn more about Proposition 64, click here.

If you wish to renew or schedule a confidential appointment to get a medical cannabis card from our CA Licensed Medical Marijuana Doctor, please contact (626) 817-9025 or schedule an appointment online.

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