California has long been a popular destination for tourists seeking near-perfect weather, beautiful shorelines, countless opportunities for entertainment, as well as its stunning national parks. In the last few years though, California has emerged as the Shangri-La for cannabis enthusiasts -and for good reason!
From weed-smoking bus tours of popular attractions, to cannabis-infused fine dining, to countless marijuana dispensaries, California is the place to get your toke on. But before you book your flight and hotel room, here’s what you need to know about legal marijuana in California.
- You have to be of legal age to smoke pot
As wonderful as it sounds, “legal marijuana,” doesn’t mean legal to all. Despite it being a much less damaging alternative to alcohol, as well as a promising alternative for treating countless physical and mental health conditions, the legal age to possess and consume marijuana is still 21 in the state of California.
So if you’re planning a trip to California to enjoy the best weed on the west coast, make sure you’re at least 21 years old, and are able to prove it with valid identification.
- Dispensary rules
If you’ve ever been inside a good marijuana dispensary, you know exactly how exciting shopping for weed can be. In the state of California , any dispensary you walk into will likely check your ID to verify your age (possibly even multiple times), and after that it’s off to the races.
Dispensaries are staffed with what the industry refers to as “budtenders.” These are essentially marijuana experts who listen to what type of experience you’re after, and offer suggestions based on their own knowledge and experience. Budtenders will give you the chance to visually inspect and smell the weed, but no touching is allowed.
Some dispensaries will have a medical side as well, and this is where having a medical marijuana card helps a lot of people. There are medical-only strains and discounts available only to people who hold a medical marijuana license.
If you’re planning a trip to California, there’s no reason to wait until you arrive to find a dispensary near your hotel. Get a head start by checking out this dispensary search tool on Veriheal!
- Traveling with marijuana
Traveling with marijuana has almost never been easy to do, and even in today’s world -where 36 out of 50 states have legalized medical marijuana- traveling with marijuana can cause you a headache and a half.
If you’re flying, it’s probably best to abstain from sneaking your weed by TSA. There are plenty of creative solutions to get your stash past unrecognized, but unless you have a serious plan, it’s likely that you’re going to get caught.
The good news is that if the TSA finds your weed stashed in your carryon or checked bag, they’ll likely just confiscate it and allow you to move on with your trip.
Driving with marijuana in California is much less stressful. Like the age limit, California police treat driving with marijuana in the same way they treat driving with an open alcohol container. So if you’re driving with your weed, make sure it’s packed in the original packaging, unopened, and that you have no more than the legal limit for one person.
- Where you can smoke
Just like alcohol consumption, you can’t expect to be allowed to smoke anywhere you want. There’s a time and place for everything, and just like you’d go to a bar for a drink, in California you can go to a smoking lounge if you want to light up.
Most smoking lounges are connected to dispensaries, and those aren’t too difficult to find!
Smoking in public can result in some pretty heavy fines, which will most definitely harsh the mellow you just created, so keep your smoking to designated areas.
Important note: driving and smoking, or driving under the influence of any amount of marijuana is a serious offense, and is treated as any other DUI in the state of California.
- Possession limits
The legal possession limits for a single person are higher than any single person could possibly smoke in a single day. We mean to say that you won’t have to worry about running out, or not being allowed to have enough in order to get your fix. You can read more about the legal limits here.
California is one of the coolest places in the world to visit, and adding legal marijuana into the mix is more like the icing on top of the cake! Before you travel though, make sure you follow these tips, consume responsibly, and your California vacation is sure to go off without a hitch!