California Medical Marijuana law currently states it is legal for patients for personal medical use.  This privilege is granted to a patient after visiting with a California licensed doctor and this physician provides a recommendation for the patient.  The law also permits caregivers to cultivate marijuana for their patients.

California Proposition 215 was passed in 1996 and allows for possession of up to 8 oz and 6 mature or 12 immature plants.  The ballot was approved by 56% of voters in California.  The law became effective on November 6th, 1996.  Since then, the Bill was Amended on January 1st, 2004 stating that qualified patients and their primary caregivers may possess a maximum of 8 ounces of dried marijuana and/or six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.  When recommended by a physician, the patient can now possess larger amounts of marijuana.  Additionally, Senate Bill 420 allows more control on an even more local level whereby granting the municipality and/or county the ability to approve and or/maintain local ordinances permitting a patient to possess larger quantities of medicinal marijuana than allowed under the new state guidelines.   This Bill also grants implied legal protection to collectives because it says, “Qualified patients, persons with valid identification cards, and the designated primary caregivers of qualified patients … who associate within the state of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions.”

S.B. 420 was challenged on January 21st, 2010 for possession limits.  The result was the California Supreme Court affirmed the May 22, 2008 Second District Court of Appeals ruling in the Kelly case that  possession limits set by State Ballot 420 violate the California constitution because the voter-approved Prop. 215 can only be amended by the voters.

The current registry fee is $66.00 for non Medi-Cal and $33.00 for Medi-Cal plus an additional county fees which vary by location.


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