Cannabis legalization in California

California was the first U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996 and, ten years later, voters there approved adult-use legalization in the 2016 general election. Upon legalizing, California became the largest legal adult-use cannabis market in the world — although its high tax rates and hiccups in its regulatory and licensing processes have served as warnings to other states as they plan their own shift to a legal marketplace. To date, many of the state’s cannabis businesses are operating under temporary provisional licenses.

A rich cannabis culture

California is home to Humboldt County and the “Emerald Triangle,” where expert growers are known for producing some of the best cannabis in the world. Additionally, through the Hollywood film industry, the state’s vibrant music and art industries, and decades of tireless advocacy, California has one of the most recognizably cannabis-friendly cultures in the world.

California cannabis industry overview

  • Adults aged 21+ can legally purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower and eight grams of concentrate.
  • While many rural counties have banned industry operations, cannabis dispensaries are open and operating under a 15% excise tax, the state’s 7.5% standard sales tax, as well as any local sales taxes.
  • Ultimately, tax rates can vary dramatically based on locale with some regions taxing cannabis at well over 30%.
  • Home grows are allowed up to six plants per person.
  • Cannabis use is restricted to private residences only — public consumption is not allowed.

What is this website all about?

Ganjapreneur is an online platform dedicated to helping cannabis professionals and investors keep up to date on the latest news and trends in cannabis. We also want the cannabis space to be held to a higher standard than other industries in terms of diversity and inclusivity. If you’re new around here, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter — and if you are a business owner who is interested in working with cannabis companies, check out our comprehensive cannabis industry business index!

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