In 2016, California passed Proposition 64, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for people 21 and older. However, at a federal level, marijuana remains a heavily restricted, Schedule I drug. This discrepancy between state and federal laws has caused a lot of confusion for people regarding what is and is not legal. Additionally, individual counties may also have their own marijuana ordinances that can further add to the confusion.
Keep reading for a review of the marijuana laws in Riverside County.
California’s Marijuana Laws
According to Prop 64, individuals 21 and older can legally possess and grow marijuana in specified amounts. As outlined in California’s Health and Safety Code 11362.1, an individual can “possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give away to persons 21 years of age or older without any compensation whatsoever, not more than 28.5 grams of cannabis not in the form of concentrated cannabis.” The limit for concentrated cannabis is no more than eight grams. An individual is also allowed to “possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process not more than six living cannabis plants and possess the cannabis produced by the plants.”
Even though the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in California, and many new marijuana dispensaries are springing up across the state, it is important to remember that you can still be arrested for certain marijuana crimes. For example, possession or cultivation over the legally allowed limits or selling marijuana without proper licensing can land you in a lot of legal trouble.
It’s also important to remember that marijuana remains illegal and heavily restricted at the federal level. This means that you could face federal charges for marijuana offenses that are legal at the state level but illegal federally.
To learn more about how California law differs from federal law, review our blog here. Keep reading for information on marijuana restrictions in Riverside County.
Riverside County Commercial Marijuana Ordinances
According to Prop 64, counties and cities in California are allowed to develop their own “reasonable restrictions” on marijuana cultivation. As of August 2018, Riverside’s City Council passed a ban on marijuana dispensaries, commercial marijuana cultivation, and outdoor growing of marijuana in the city. However, according to Prop 64, cities cannot outright ban an individual from growing up to six plants for personal use.
Riverside County has developed several marijuana ordinances related to commercial cannabis activities. These ordinances include those that outline permitting procedures for commercial cannabis operations and those restricting the commercial cultivation of marijuana. These ordinances are taken very seriously, and law enforcement is cracking down on violators. In particular, Riverside County is working to combat illegal industrial-sized marijuana grows.
If you are a commercial grower or are looking to start a commercial cannabis business, it is vitally important that you understand local marijuana ordinances. To learn more about applying for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for commercial cannabis activity, review the County’s cannabis information page here.
What to Do If You Are Arrested for a Marijuana-Related Offense
If you are facing marijuana charges, federal or state, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Marijuana laws can be confusing, and drug crimes are prosecuted aggressively. This is especially true in Riverside County, where, despite decriminalization at the state level, city and county ordinances are still relatively restrictive compared to other counties. A skilled lawyer can help you defend your rights and protect your freedom.