Are you one of the many individuals in the state of California in need of marijuana for medical use? If you are, there are key aspects of California law that you should know. While the medical use of marijuana is legal, the recreational use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana is very much illegal. You must not only understand California law, but also federal law and your rights.
The fact that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level continues to be the biggest obstacle for those who need to use marijuana for medical purposes. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug along with other drugs, substances and chemicals that are considered the most dangerous along with having no currently accepted medical use. This means that even though medical marijuana cultivation was legalized in 1996, it is still technically illegal on the federal level.
According to California law, the possession of one ounce of marijuana or less is an infraction with the possibility of a $100 fine. Larger amounts can mean fines of up to $500 and six months in jail. If you are found to be in possession with the intent to sell and/or cultivate, it can lead to a possible state prison sentence since both are considered to be felonies.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to educate yourself on your rights. For example, if authorities find that you have baggies and scales then there is evidence of intent to distribute. Instead of looking at a simple possession misdemeanor, you might now face prison time. In addition, if you are located close to a school or near children, your punishment will be much worse.
When growing for medical use, you will have an easier time proving that it is for medical use if you grow a number consistent with your needs. If you are caught with 300 plus plants, for example, this will immediately appear excessive for one individual’s medical use; thus, you may be charged with a felony. However, if you have a large group of people and you can show that it is a more reasonable count of ten plants per person, your grow may be declared legal under California law.
While the medical marijuana industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, there are still many obstacles for those who have startups in the industry; the conflict between state and federal law being a major one. The following tips should help you to be prepared for worst case scenarios while also providing safe solutions to your business needs. Keep all of your “I”’s dotted and your “T”’s crossed.
First, be sure to secure the services of a lawyer who knows cannabis and medical marijuana laws. They can provide answer to any questions you might have as well as assist you in operating your business in compliance with state law.
Second, consider securing marijuana payment processing. This option will provide you with safe and hassle-free payment processing solutions when traditional lending sources shy away from you due to the “high risk” nature of the medical marijuana industry.
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