California Information News

California Retail Marijuana Regulations Released

As California scrambles to get recreational weed ready for January 1, many feel the state won’t be ready to ring in weed with the new year. With a less than two months to go, emergency rules that will regulate the upcoming industry were finally revealed by state legislators on Nov. 16.

New California Recreational Marijuana Regulations

Maximum Purchase Limits

Adults who want to buy legal recreational weed will be limited to one ounce (28.5 grams) of flower, eight grams of any concentrate, and six immature plants. Gifting recreational cannabis or product giveaways are prohibited.  

Medical patients can purchase up to eight ounces of cannabis. They are also permitted buy a different amount if recommended by their prescribing physician. Gifting or giving product giveaways are permitted in certain medical situations, such as for low-income residents or veterans that can help those who could otherwise not afford medical cannabis.

Limits on THC and Products

For both recreational and medical consumers, the serving size for edibles is limited to 10 milligrams of THC. Anything over 100 milligrams per package will be prohibited. Edibles made available for purchase cannot resemble anything a child would be interested in eating. The shapes a manufacturer can produce cannot be a fruit, face, animal, or insect. Basically, anything that would be appealing for a child to eat is prohibited.

Concentrates, tinctures, and topicals will have different THC limits for recreational and medical consumers. Medical products can contain up to 2,000 milligrams THC, while recreational products are allowed 1,000 milligrams.

Testing on Various Marijuana Products

Testing marijuana products will be done to measure the following: cannabinoids (CBD, THC, and others), heavy metals, foreign material, residual pesticides, processing chemicals, microbial contaminants, moisture content, water activity, mycotoxins, residual solvents, and terpenoids.

When products meet the state’s requirements, they will be permitted to be sold. If they fail testing, manufacturers can try to fix the issues, where they will be tested again, which can be done twice. If the product fails two times, the batch will be destroyed.

Edibles will also be tested to ensure that THC and CBD content is spread evenly throughout the entire product.

Testing is likely to become stricter as recreational sales mature. In the beginning products will only be tested for things that contain a “high public health risk.” By the end of the year however, products will be tested for impurities in products that hold even “minor relative health risks.”

Restrictions on Retail Stores

People in California that want to buy recreational weed will be able to do so between 6am-10pm. Retail stores must also be at least 600 feet away from day care centers, K-12 schools, or any youth centers.

Retails are prohibited from window displays. Any displays on the interior of the store are forbidden to be visible by the public.

Permits and Licensing

Those interested in selling retail cannabis will be given temporary permits good for 120 days. The state is aware that when retails get ready to roll out their products after license approval, that there will be a lot of product out there that “doesn’t meet regulation.”

Cost of licensing varies. Some can be as low as $800, while others might be as high as $120,000.


As California gets ready for retail weed, these emergency regulations will be what guides the way. It’s expected that things will be modified as time moves forward. As with most states who have made recreational marijuana legal, what the future holds for California remains yet to be seen.

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