On November 8, Californians voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Proposition 64 was approved by a margin of 56%-44%. This proposition will help the US become the largest commercial pot market in the near future. Analysts predict that taxes will generate up to $1 billion per annum for the state of California.
Here are some key factors about the sale and use of marijuana under Proposition 64:
Marijuana Sales to Minors
Under Proposition 64, anyone below 21 years of age will not be able to buy marijuana as per the written ballot measure. It strictly prohibits that marijuana can’t be designed to suit minors and it should not be confused with any commercially sold candy. The products should be packed with child resistant containers.
License to Carry
Adults carrying more than one ounce of marijuana will face misdemeanor charges and a fine of $500. There are chances of being jailed for up to 6 months.
Smoking in Public
Smoking marijuana at public places or is strictly prohibited under proposition 64. You can smoke it at your own place, away from public eyes. There is a fine of $100 if you are caught smoking at a public place and a fine of $250 where smoking is not allowed.
Marijuana sellers will need a state license and marijuana has to be consumed in that particular state only. You can’t take it from one state to another.
Marketing of marijuana products to minors is obviously not permitted. You won’t be able to see the marijuana ads on TV. Apart from this, advertisements of marijuana should not be on billboards located alongside state or interstate highways. These ads must be more than 1,000 feet away from day care centers and schools.
Bureau of Marijuana Control is responsible for license and regulation of marijuana business. It was previously known as Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.
There are two new excise taxes on marijuana according to the Proposition 64 :
There’s a tax of 15% on retail price of marijuana.
For flowers, there’s a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce, for leaves its $2.75 per ounce with exceptions on sales and cultivation of certain medical marijuana.
All the revenue generated from marijuana taxation will go to a new California Marijuana Tax Fund. The revenue will be first utilized in the enforcement and administration of the measure and afterwards, it will be distributed to treatment, enforcement and drug research including:
$2 million per year will go to UC San Diego Center for Medical Cannabis Research. The purpose is study of medical marijuana.
For the next 11 years, $10 million/year will be given to public universities of California for the research and evaluation of Proposition 64, its impact and implementation.
US $3 million per year will be given to the Department of the California Highway Patrol for the development of protocols to ascertain whether or not the vehicle driver is impaired due to marijuana consumption.
US $10 million per year, increasing this every year by $10 until it settles at $50 million in 2022, will be given to community based non-profit organizations and local health departments that support mental health treatment, job placement, substance use disorder treatment, legal services and system navigation services.
The remaining amount will be given as follows:
60% to youth programs which include drug education, its treatment and prevention.
20% to those programs that aim to reduce driving under the marijuana influence and a grant program that is designed for the reduction of negative impacts on safety or health which results from the proposition.
20 percent for the alleviation and prevention of environmental damage caused by illegal marijuana producers.
Individuals who are below 18 years, if caught either consuming or possessing it, will have to complete community service apart from attending a drug education or a counseling program. If you are caught selling marijuana without a license, you might end up facing imprisonment of 6 months in a county jail or a fine up to US $ 500 or both.
The legalization of recreational marijuana will have a great impact on the people of California, and we can’t wait to see the future it brings.
Ray Boroumand is the Office Manager of 4th Street Medical, a leader in providing evaluations for medical marijuana in Santa Ana. An advocate for medical marijuana, Ray believes in making the process as simple and easy for patients as possible through quick and convenient verification. At 4th Street Medical, he stresses convenience, affordability and transparency 100% of the time.