What Counts as Usable, Smokable Marijuana?
Published on 2/2/12
Updated May 27, 2022
Legal cannabis has come a long way over the past two decades. Today, 19 states and U.S. territories allow recreational use, and another 39 have established some type of medical program. This means that more than " of all Americans live somewhere that's legalized weed. However, despite this state-level progress, the momentum for federal legalization or declassification of cannabis is still very slow developing.
Both Democrats and Republicans have proposed to legalize nationwide. All of the progress made towards nationwide decriminalization and legalization of recreational or medical cannabis has been implemented at the individual state level. This patchwork state-by-state approach has led to different laws, rules, and regulations for every place, which can frequently be confusing and disorienting for the average consumer.
For example, many states have different possession and purchasing limitations, rules on whether or not you can home grow cannabis plants of your own, and even what's considered "usable, smokeable cannabis" in the first place. Thankfully, we here at Where's Weed have your back. We'll precisely break down the state-by-state standards, how to legally define what types of cannabis counts as "usable," and how to avoid getting in trouble while holding legal cannabis products.
What Legally Counts as Usable, Smokable Cannabis?
While it's true that legal weed laws, rules, and regulations tend to be different state-by-state, there is a generally accepted legal definition for what types of weed products are considered "usable."
That legal definition for what the government does not consider "usable, smokable cannabis" is as follows. Per Law Insider:
Usable cannabis means the dried leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant and cannabis-derived products, including concentrates, but does not include the plant's seeds, stalks, or roots.
However, it's important to note that some states do consider basic THC levels when judging if a cannabis product is considered "usable." For example, some states' cannabis rules and regulations say that the dried flower must exceed a THC concentration of three-tenths of one percent to be considered usable. The exact definition of "usable" cannabis down to dried cannabis leaves with a certain level of THC content and concentrates/infused products made from that dried flower.
That means that, at its most basic level, "usable" cannabis refers to a cannabis-based product above a certain level of THC content used to get high, unlike the stems and seeds of the plant. Concentrates and other cannabis-infused products also fall into this category since they are made from or infused with that same dried and decarbed cannabis flower.
Why the Definition of "Usable" Cannabis Products Matter
If you're going to engage in legal recreational use, it's essential to understand what's "usable" and what isn't. There are a few critical reasons for this.
Firstly, possession and buying limits exist. Different states have different rules regarding how much "usable" cannabis or cannabis products you can have on you, buy, or legally be growing at one time. In Alaska, for example, you can only possess a maximum of no more than an ounce of usable cannabis on your at one time. Meanwhile, in California, folks can legally possess up to 28.5 grams of non-concentrate "usable" cannabis products and no more than 8 grams of concentrate. Knowing the differences between those two states' rules is vital for staying out of trouble and enjoying your weed in peace.
Doing a little bit of research on the laws and rules regarding cannabis possession in each state will go a long way to keeping you out of any unnecessary legal trouble for possessing more legal cannabis than you should.
The Bottom Line
Making sure you're avoiding trouble when it comes to enjoying legal weed is essential. While it's impossible to argue that we here in the U.S. haven't come a long way regarding permitting, decriminalizing, and allowing for citizens to make their own decisions when it comes to cannabis, pro-legalization advocates haven't been able to finish the job just yet.
In legal states, people are still being put in prison or serving jail time for cannabis-related crimes. What's worse is that this failure in the criminal justice system often falls along racial lines, harshly and often disproportionately punishing people of color. Knowing the rules, laws, and regulations on how much cannabis you can buy, where to buy it, and how much you can possess at one time will go a long way to keeping you out of any trouble. And knowing the rules when it comes to what's "usable" or "smokable" cannabis is no different!