California’s new recreational marijuana laws took effect Jan. 1, 2018. Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about pot consumption under the state’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.

Marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and its purchase, possession, distribution, or use within California may be unlawful under federal law.

NOTE: All information is provided by the California Dept. of Public Health on Oct. 17, 2017, and may be subject to change.


  • Adults 21 and older can use, carry, purchase, and grow marijuana. That includes up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.
  • You can only purchase marijuana at retail outlets licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
  • Although you can legally possess marijuana, it is illegal for you to sell it without a license.


  • You can plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, and process up to 6 marijuana plants in your private residence or on the grounds of your residence.
  • Plants must be in a locked space that is not visible to the public.
  • Cities and counties may prohibit the outdoor cultivation of marijuana.
  • Property owners and landlords may ban the use, growth, and possession of marijuana on their properties.


  • You cannot use marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, or youth center while children are present.
  • Even though it is legal under California law, employers have the right to prohibit the use of marijuana by their employees.
  • Marijuana can be consumed on private property but not in public places.


  • If you are under the influence of marijuana while operating a car, boat, or other vehicle, a law enforcement officer can pull you over and conduct a sobriety test. Violators are subject to DUI laws.
  • Having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle while driving or riding in the passenger seat is against the law.
  • If you have marijuana in a vehicle, it must be in an approved sealed package or container. Otherwise, it must be kept in the trunk.


  • Marijuana may not be consumed or possessed on federal lands like national parks, even if the park is in California.
  • It is illegal to take marijuana across state lines, even if you’re traveling to another state where marijuana is legal.
  • Cities and counties may have stricter laws about marijuana that are in addition to the state law.

Here is a list of marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and Orange County