Cannabis is set to be legal in California on January 1, 2018; however, this is the day in which California starts to issue out licenses & permits. You will legally have to be over the age of 21 in order to purchase.
No one truly knows at this point in time when the first day of actual retail sales will take place.
All Cities / Counties in the State of California can choose to allow recreational cannabis or to ban it as well.
The major difference between Medical Cannabis vs. Recreational is as follows:
Beginning January 1, 2018, two new cannabis taxes apply as follow:
A 15 percent excise tax is imposed upon purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. Retailers of cannabis and cannabis products are required to collect the 15 percent excise tax from the purchaser based on the average market price of any retail sale and pay it to their cannabis distributor.
A cultivation tax is imposed upon cannabis cultivators on all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market. Cannabis cultivators are required to pay the cultivation tax to either their distributor or their manufacturer. The rate of the cultivation tax is:
$9.25 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flowers that enter the commercial market, and
$2.75 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis leaves that enter the commercial market.
California will include a 15% levy on all cannabis sales in the state, including medical pot products, starting in January. Meanwhile, local governments are also adding taxes for sellers and growers that could result in a 70% increase in the price in parts of the state.
Between state and local taxes, some buyers will see an effective tax as high as 45% on adult-use cannabis in California.
Effective November 9, 2016, certain sales of medicinal cannabis are exempt from sales and use tax. (Proper ID is required)
1) Gives you Extra Protection
We are not saying that it is your get out of jail free card, but it will give you that extra layer of protection. As of now, Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in the United States. This means that on a federal level smoking pot is illegal. Even if you live in a state that has legalized the plant you are still breaking Federal laws by consuming it in any form whatsoever.
Having a medical marijuana card can sometimes mean the difference between “deep shit” and a simple “let you off with a warning.” Furthermore, in most states, you will be afforded full legal protection under the state’s medical marijuana laws if the law harasses you.
2) You’ll Save Money
Depending on the state you live in, some states have established tax benefits for those with medical marijuana cards. This means that you’ll be able to purchase weed at a much cheaper price than recreational marijuana. Sometimes even a two-thirds of the price. If you smoke on a regular basis, it all adds up. At the end of the day, by having a medical marijuana card, you’ll be saving quite a few bucks.