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Can Tourists Buy Marijuana in California?

Feb 24 2020, by Jessica McElfresh in Marijuana Business, Marijuana Charges, Medical Marijuana

Tourists legally buy marijuana in California. In 2018, California began selling recreational marijuana and issuing licenses to legal dispensaries. However, there are some regulations and guidelines that in-state customers and visitors must follow. You may also have questions about what to choose, where to go, and where using marijuana is allowed.

How Do Tourists Buy Marijuana in California?

Any adult over 21, resident or tourist, can purchase legal recreational cannabis in retail dispensaries.

Before California passed the Adult Use Marijuana Act, otherwise known as Prop 64, the only way to buy marijuana legally in California was to obtain a recommendation from a physician for various medical conditions. Retail dispensaries streamline the process of purchasing legal cannabis.

Do I Need an ID to Buy Marijuana?

You must prove that you are at least 21 using government identification. The following types of ID are accepted:

  • California driver’s license
  • Out-of-state driver’s license
  • Government-issued ID card
  • Passport (if you’re not a U.S. citizen)

You cannot even enter a cannabis dispensary without an ID proving your legal age.

How Can I Pay for Recreational Cannabis?

Because most major credit card networks restrict marijuana purchases “until such time as federal law allows,” you have limited payment options, including:

  • Cash – Some dispensaries have ATMs for money withdrawal
  • Third-party transactional sites

The amount of money you’ll need depends on which cannabis products you want to buy and how much. Don’t forget about sales tax – all legal cannabis purchases are taxable.

Where Should Tourists Go?

Tourists looking to buy recreational marijuana need to find a dispensary licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. You can find a list of licensed dispensaries through their “Retailers Near Me” site or various apps like Leafy or WeedMaps.

Buying cannabis from unlicensed retailers is still illegal. These locations are regularly raided and shut down. However, people can give each other small amounts of marijuana, provided both parties are at least 21.

What Should I Expect at a Dispensary?

Licensed dispensaries in California carry several marijuana types and in various forms. The recognizable and smokable flower will be pre-rolled joints, edible treats like cookies and candy, vape pens, and even cannabis-infused drinks.

The quality and potency of what you buy will vary, so ask the employees what they recommend and pay attention to labels. The THC concentration should be marked.

How Much Marijuana Can I Buy?

Adults can legally purchase up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis in one day. Marijuana stores track transactions to ensure they aren’t selling you more than the allowed amount.

Legally, you may only carry one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis at one time. Marijuana products are in neutral packaging to keep the contents private.

How Much Does Cannabis Cost in California?

The cost of marijuana depends on what you buy, the concentration of THC, and how much.

Typical prices include:

  • One gram of “bud” or “flower,” which describes smokable leaf marijuana, costs between $10 and $15 before taxes.
  • One joint usually contains 0.5 grams, with a pre-rolled joint costing $5.
  • One ounce of cannabis can be as much as $229, but that’s a lot more than a casual tourist would typically buy.

Edibles are sold according to the amount of THC. Some small candies may be as cheap as $5, while higher-end edibles can be up to $50 or $100 for more potent dosages and expensive ingredients. The average price for a pack of 100 mg edibles in California is around $20.

Where Can Tourists Use Cannabis?

While recreational weed is legal in California, it is still illegal to smoke, consume, or vape cannabis products in public. Therefore, you can’t walk down the street and smoke, and just like alcohol – cannabis can’t be consumed while driving.

You should only consume cannabis in a private home. If you’re visiting, keep in mind many hotels, Airbnb’s, and apartments ban smoking. Even landlords can ban smoking inside a residence.

Can I Take Marijuana Home with Me?

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Please don’t try to take cannabis with you on an airplane. Should TSA discover it, you run the risk of being asked to discard it or face criminal charges, depending on the situation.

We Are Cannabis Advocates at McElfresh Law

At McElfresh Law, we protect marijuana rights for visitors, California cannabis users, growers, and business owners. If you need a San Diego cannabis business lawyer, call us today at 858-756-7107 to schedule a consultation.

California marijuana laws change frequently. For updated information, see the following pages: Medicinal Uses of Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana Business.