The California Compassionate Use Act known as Prop. 215 was enacted by voters taking effect on November 6, 1996, as California Health & Safety Code 11362.5. The law made it legal for patients and their designated primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana for their personal medical use given the recommendation or approval of a California-licensed physician.
California legislative statute Senate Bill 420 went into effect on January 1, 2004, as H&SC 11362.7-.83 broadening Prop. 215 – To include transportation and other offenses in certain circumstances; allowing patients to form medical cultivation “collectives” or “cooperatives”.
On September 11, 20015, California Legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA or MCRSA), establishing permitting for marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensaries, etc.… at the state level, however requiring local approval. The law went into effect on January 1, 2016; though, the state has said it will need until January 2018 to set up the necessary agencies, information systems, and regulations to actually begin issuing licenses. In the interim, some local governments have chosen to adopt new ordinances to permit or license local businesses in preparation for state licensing. Facilities currently operating in accordance with state and local laws may continue to do so until such time as their license applications are approved or denied.
On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Californians voted to legalize “recreational” adult use of marijuana. The approval of Proposition 64 by the country’s largest state sent a powerful message to the world to end marijuana prohibition with nearly two-thirds of California counties approving the measure to help local reform efforts. Similar to MMRSA or MCRSA licensing with some distinctions, Prop 64 permitting process is set to begin in January 2018.
Until then a doctor’s recommendation is still required to legally obtain any type of marijuana products.