There has been a big furor recently over California passing Proposition 64 after the state’s residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill. Prop 64 allows average citizens to legally buy and consume recreational marijuana. California has often been the torchbearer for marijuana use throughout history. In 1996, the state passed Proposition 215, also referred to as the Compassionate Use Act, which allows patients and their primary caregivers the right to possess and cultivate MMJ for their personal use once they’ve obtained a California medical marijuana card from a licensed physician.
But many patients and cardholders are now wondering what this new proposition will mean for their rights and access to medical marijuana once the bill comes into full effect. Read on to find out how Proposition 64 might affect you and why, if you haven’t already gotten a 420 card, you might still consider applying.
The Bill Won’t Come into Full Effect Until 2018
Although it is now legal for the 21+ crowd to use, possess and share cannabis, as well as grow it at home, it is still illegal to buy or sell the product. The legislation required for adult-use shops won’t come into play until at least 2018, which means that getting your hands on any cannabis for recreational use is going to remain a little tricky. If you know someone who has a cannabis plant who is willing to part with it free of charge, then this is, as it stands, pretty much the only way to legally obtain the substance.
Without a California Medical Marijuana Card, You Will Still Be Limited on How Much Cannabis You Can Possess and Grow
As of Nov. 9, 2016, the average citizen is now allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana flowers or 8 grams of concentrate (the product used in vape pens) while walking around in public, without fear of arrest. Recreational users are limited to growing just six plants at a time; however, those in possession of a 420 card can cultivate up to 100 square feet of medical marijuana plants at any given time.
You Will Still Be Allowed to Smoke Your MMJ in Some Public Areas
Although Joe Public will remain limited to smoking or dosing their cannabis in a private space away from the public eye, the new legislation seems to support the view that patients in possession of the properly credentialed California medical marijuana card will still be permitted to smoke their medicine in most places that currently allow tobacco smoking. This will continue to permit patients to properly dose as and when they need it without fear of repercussion.
You’ll Get Access to Fastrack Lanes at Legalized Marijuana Dispensaries
One of the main concerns among the medical marijuana community is that access to their medication will become slower and more complicated once the public is able to buy cannabis from regulated dispensaries. They fear long lines, bureaucratic red tape, and a drop in the quality and consistency of their now medical-grade product. Some who have weighed in on this concern have predicted that post-legalization, many dispensaries will simply have two lines: one for patients in possession of the California medical marijuana card and one for recreational users. This way the product can be kept separate from the recreational product, which will allow for different preferences of the public as many recreational users might favor varied strengths, a tobacco mix or eventually even different flavors.
California Medical Marijuana Card Patients Will Be Exempt From Sales Tax
If patients are in possession of the government-issued medical marijuana card, they will be able to skip the state sales tax for the purchasing of legalized cannabis. Unfortunately, with the passing of Proposition 64, they will still have to pay the additional 15 percent tax imposed by the bill plus whatever proportion of the cultivation tax and regulatory compliance costs that might come with the ongoing and final legislation of the bill. Furthermore, they might also enforce some additional local taxes that will be permitted under the new legislation.
The Price For MMJ Will Remain Consistent as Market Value Changes
One fear from the MMJ community is that now that cannabis is a marketable and profitable product, it will be subject to the ever-changing market price and street value. However, advocates of the bill have cited the recent plummet of the recreational price of legalized cannabis in the Rocky Mountain state following an oversupply as an example of the security of the price of MMJ. Although prices for recreational cannabis fluctuated quite widely, the price for MMJ remained steady.