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How Tourists Can Buy Legal Cannabis in California?

Jul 20, 2022

California is a popular tourist spot and attracts several visitors. While most tourists love to come and explore the attractions the state has to offer, some may want to purchase legal cannabis in California. If you are one such tourist, then go through this blog to understand whether you can buy legal cannabis and how?

Can Tourists Buy Cannabis In California?

Tourists can buy cannabis in California legally. California started selling recreational cannabis and issuing licenses to legal dispensaries in 2018. However, you must follow some guidelines and regulations, whether you are a visitor to the state or a resident.

How Can Tourists Buy Cannabis in California?

If you are an adult over 21 years, you can purchase legal recreational cannabis in the many cannabis dispensaries. You must ensure you go to a retail dispensary to buy cannabis. Some dispensaries in California only serve medical clients that have local addresses.
Before the Adult Use Marijuana Act was passed in California, you needed to get a recommendation from a physician to buy cannabis. But now, many retail dispensaries have streamlined the process of purchasing legal recreational cannabis in the state.

What do Cannabis Dispensaries in California Look Like?

Cannabis dispensaries in California can vary from small stores in strip malls, repurposed drive-throughs, or large stores that feel like boutiques. No matter the size of the dispensary, they are all regulated by the law. Most of these dispensaries will accept only cash, though some of them may accept credit cards as well. The state law also requires all dispensaries to have a security guard at the door.

Do Tourists Need an ID To Buy Legal Cannabis?

Whether you are a resident or a tourist, you must prove that you are at least 21 years old when purchasing cannabis. You won’t even be allowed to enter the dispensary if you don’t show a valid ID. You can use any of the following government-issued IDs:

  • Out-of-state driver’s license
  • California driver’s license
  • Government-issued ID card
  • Passport in case you are not a US citizen

How Much Cannabis Can Tourists Buy?

Any adult, local or tourist, can legally purchase up to one ounce or 8 grams of cannabis per day. This includes edibles as well, which contain concentrates. Stores will track your transactions to ensure you are not being sold more than the permitted amount.

How Much Does Cannabis Cost in California?

The cost of cannabis will depend on what cannabis-infused product you buy, where you buy it, and in what amounts. Below are typical prices of cannabis-related products:

  • One gram of the cannabis bud or flower may cost between $10 and $15, exclusive of tax
  • A pre-rolled joint may cost about $5. One joint will typically contain 0.5 grams.
  • An ounce of cannabis can cost approximately $229.
  • The cost of edibles like candies can range between $5 and $50 to $100. The average cost of 100 mg of edibles in California is $20.

Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Cannabis As a Tourist

While cannabis and related products are legal in California, you cannot just go to any place and purchase them. Below are certain things you must remember when buying cannabis as a tourist.

Have Basic Knowledge About Cannabis

Familiarize yourself with the main types of cannabis before you visit a dispensary. The staff at the dispensary will inform you how strong every strain is. If you are new to cannabis, then opt for low doses. Speak to the staff and clarify any questions or doubts you may have. Once you have all the information you need, you can choose what type of cannabis you want and get your order filled.

Ensure the Packaging is Sealed and Marked

Clerks at any recreational cannabis dispensary will give you the product in sealed and marked containers. Ensure the container is sealed and wrapped till you are in a private place where you can use it.

Understand the Difference Between CBD and THC

THC is a compound in the marijuana plant that makes you high. The government is constantly trying to control the consumption of THC. CBD, on the other hand, is a chemical found in the cannabis plant that is considered harmless. It doesn’t create a feeling of high like THC. You must know the difference between the two before purchasing cannabis products, lest you purchase the wrong one and get in trouble.

Be Careful When You Smoke in Your Hotel

If your hotel has a no-smoking policy and you smoke cannabis in your hotel room, you can be fined. You can even be fined for public use if you go to your balcony and smoke cannabis. Find out about your hotel’s smoking policy before lighting up a joint in the hotel. You may be able to use the oils and edibles in some of the hotels though.

Don’t Take It Out of State

As per Federal Law, you cannot transport cannabis and cannabis-related items across state lines. Even at the airports, you can be reported to the police by the TSA if they find you carrying cannabis.

Respect the Rules Around Cannabis and Its Consumption in the State

While the consumption of cannabis is legal in California, there are still rules that you must follow:

  • Don’t take minors with you when you go to purchase cannabis.
  • Don’t give your cannabis to minors
  • Don’t drive after you have consumed cannabis in any form. This includes cannabis-infused brownies and candies as well. If caught, it will be considered driving under the influence.
  • Avoid smoking or consuming cannabis in public. Certain organizations and buildings may have designated areas where you can use cannabis-infused products. You may be able to use cannabis in those areas.

Ensure you don’t bring cannabis-related products into federal lands like national parks and military bases.
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