Cannabis Purchase Limits in 5 Major Marijuana States
Published on Apr 12, 2021
The number of states in the U.S. with legalized adult-use cannabis continues to grow and access to quality weed sold in dispensaries across the country is unprecedented. That does not mean that there are no longer any restrictions or limitations on what someone can buy when they walk into a dispensary, though. From the trailblazers to the new kids on the block, let's take a look at what the purchasing laws are in five of the top states for legal marijuana.
California Marijuana Laws
Is weed legal in California? You bet it is. The Golden State pioneered the legalization movement way back on November 6, 1996, when California Proposition 215 was approved by 56% of voters. The state further defined how its system would operate at the administrative level with the passage of Senate Bill 420 (yes, that's the real number) in 2003.
Recreational use became a reality in 2016 when Proposition 64 passed by a margin of 57% to 43%. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) became law on January 1, 2018. MAUCRSA created a framework for the regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis and created the Bureau of Cannabis Control to oversee both legal weed industries.
California Marijuana Market
California is home to the largest cannabis market in the world; money spent on legal weed in 2019 hit an impressive $3.1 billion. The black market remains strong, however, primarily due to a lack of accessible dispensaries in most counties and the extreme taxation of legal marijuana products and businesses. There are currently around 1500 dispensaries in the state.
Buying Weed in California
With a state-issued Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMID), patients are allowed to purchase and possess up to eight ounces of flower and concentrates. Cardholders may also possess up to 12 mature plants. Californians using their MMID also are exempt from sales and use taxes when purchasing flower, concentrates and edibles. Recreational users 21 and older can possess and use up to 28.5 grams of flower and eight grams of concentrates. They may also have up to six mature plants. Recreational taxes in California can reach the 45% level, with excise, cultivation, use and retail percentages added on to purchases.
Colorado Marijuana Laws
On November 7, 2000, 54% of Colorado voters spoke in favor of Amendment 20. The bill changed the state's constitution to allow approved patients with written medical consent to use marijuana. In November of 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 (55% in favor) legalizing recreational marijuana possession for adults 21 and older. Amendment 64 also required the state to create a regulatory structure for retail sales of marijuana. On January 1, 2014, retail marijuana sales became legal except in certain municipalities, and the Colorado dispensary model was born.
Colorado Marijuana Market
According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, as of early 2020, there were 572 retail stores and 438 licensed medical marijuana stores. Retail sales in recreational and medical dispensaries grew from $675 million in 2014 to about $1.75 billion in 2019. Consumers spent $250 million on medical and $955 million on recreational cannabis sales between January and July in 2020.
How Much Weed Can You Buy in Colorado?
Medical marijuana users in Colorado may purchase and possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana (higher amounts may be granted by a recommending physician in certain situations) and not more than six marijuana plants. Only three or fewer of the plants can be mature and flowering. Colorado residents and visitors are allowed to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and/or THC for recreational use at a time. The state also has determined that for retail sales, 1 ounce of flower is equal to 8 grams of concentrate and 1 ounce of flower equals 800 mg of edibles.
Washington Marijuana Laws
Medical marijuana became legal in Washington on November 3, 1998, when Initiative 692 (I-692) received just shy of 59% of votes cast. Recreational use followed in 2012 thanks to the passage of Initiative 502 (I-502) by a margin of approximately 56% to 44%.
Washington Marijuana Market
There were 504 active retailer licenses in The Evergreen State 2019, and $464.9 million in cannabis excise taxes were collected in the fiscal year 2020. Retail sales of weed brought in $671 million from January to June in 2020.
How Much Weed Can You Buy in Washington?
Medical marijuana patients can purchase three ounces of usable marijuana, forty-eight ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, two hundred sixteen ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form or twenty-one grams of marijuana concentrate. MMJ cardholders may also grow six plants and possess up to eight ounces of usable marijuana produced from their plants. Adults age 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of useable marijuana, 72 ounces in liquid form and seven grams of marijuana concentrates for recreational use. The Washington edibles limit is 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles.
Oregon Marijuana Laws
Is weed legal in Oregon? Absolutely. The state legalized medical marijuana when Measure 67 passed in 1998 with 56.4% of the vote. Recreational sales, possession and use were approved in 2014 when Measure 91 received 56% of the vote.
Oregon Marijuana Market
The weed market in Oregon is robust. The most recent figures indicate that there were $103 million in retail sales in May, $100 million in June and $106 million in July of 2020. It is projected that Oregon could reach $1 billion in recreational and medical cannabis sales in 2021.
How Much Weed Can You Buy in Oregon?
Oregon has it dialed in when it comes to legal purchasing amounts in Oregon. Medical marijuana patients or a caregiver can possess 16 ounces of a cannabis product in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, 16 ounces of concentrates, five grams of extract, four immature plants and 50 seeds. The maximum THC limits per container for medical cannabis in Oregon are 100 mg. in edibles, 6% in topicals, 4,000 mg. in tinctures, 4,000 mg. in capsules and 4,000 mg. of extracts. Recreational users 21 and older may purchase one ounce of flower, 16 ounces of a cannabis product in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, five grams intended for smoking or vaping, five grams of concentrates, four immature plants and/or 10 seeds at any one time or in a single day.
Illinois Marijuana Laws
Is weed legal in Illinois? Yes. In 2013, when the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act was signed by the governor, medical cannabis became legal. Adults over the age of 21 were allowed to legally purchase cannabis on June 25, 2019, when HB 1438 or Senate Floor Amendment 2 was signed into law. This move by the Illinois legislature is noteworthy because no other state has ever legalized recreational cannabis in a non-referendum manner. Illinois weed laws come directly from the state government.
Illinois Cannabis Market
Recreational dispensaries have seen over $431 million in sales since they first opened in early 2020 and sales hit over $67 million in September of 2020. The first eight months of 2020 saw medical marijuana patients spend over $235.7 million. There are now 67 dispensaries in the state.
How Much Weed Can You Buy in Illinois?
Patients with a valid Illinois medical card may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis over two weeks. They may also grow a maximum of five plants that are more than five inches tall. In the recreational realm, residents can legally possess 30 grams of flower and 5 grams of concentrate. Edibles and tinctures are limited to 500 mg. of THC.
Did you know about these possession limits in each state? Let us hear your comments below!