Find a weed dispensary in California
What to expect from California dispensaries
California is home to over 800 licensed recreational cannabis dispensaries that serve medical patients and recreational customers throughout the state. As a pioneering cannabis state, Californians have enjoyed the perks of legalized recreational weed since 2016. Whether you're looking to understand the rules better or simply visiting the Golden State for pleasure, Leafly's dispensary experts put together the essential information you need to know before going to a dispensary in California.
California dispensary hours
Most weed dispensaries in California are open from 9 am to 9 pm. Dispensaries are allowed to operate seven days a week and often are open on holidays and during special events. You can verify the operating hours of your favorite California dispensary at any time using Leafly.com.
Items to bring
To enter a recreational dispensary in California, you must present a valid identification card, such as a driver's license, to verify you are at least 21 years old. California recreational dispensaries will accept an out-of-state driver's license if you visit from an outside state and want to buy weed. Dispensaries will not sell recreational cannabis to anyone under 21 years old and will verify your age by carding you at the door with an electronic card reader.
If you're a medical marijuana patient, you may bring your medical marijuana card and take advantage of the option to buy higher amounts of THC products than those without a medical card. However, California dispensaries will not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards, but patients can still choose to purchase weed from recreational shops.
How to find legit dispensaries in California
People new to retail cannabis may wonder what makes a dispensary legitimate. Technically speaking, legit dispensaries are dispensaries that have a license to operate. Today, there are over 800 total licensed and legitimate dispensaries in California. You can see a list of adult-use dispensary licenses through the California Department of Cannabis Control or browse the top-rated dispensaries in California according to dispensary reviews on Leafly.
How to buy weed in California
California cannabis tax breakdown
Like most goods sold in the US, THC products are subject to certain taxes. Every state has unique laws regarding cannabis tax, including the Golden State. California Cannabis Tax laws include a 15% cannabis excise tax and a state retail sales tax of 7.25%. Additionally, there is an automatic local sales tax of up to 1%. California municipalities have the right to add a business tax of up to 15%. Customers shopping at California dispensaries should expect to pay 23-28% tax when buying THC products. Medical marijuana patients in California are not exempt from cannabis tax.
Cash-only. Credit cards, checks, and cryptocurrency are not accepted
Like other states that have legalized weed, California requires all cannabis purchases to be in cash. Fortunately, most cannabis shops have ATMs to allow you to withdraw money for a small fee. California dispensaries are cash-only because banks operate on the federal level where marijuana is still illegal, making banks unable to accept anything but cash from dispensaries. As a result, dispensaries in California do not accept personal checks, credit cards, debit cards, or cryptocurrency as forms of payment for cannabis products. Cannabis taxes are applied upon each checkout at a dispensary or may be applied electronically through an online ordering system like Leafly.
Where to consume weed in California
California has passed laws outlining where people can and cannot smoke weed. Essentially, California consumption laws state that you cannot consume cannabis in a public space. Therefore, there are only a few key locations where you are free to smoke and enjoy cannabis in California, including:
- Inside a home that you own
- Inside a home that you rent with the landlord's written permission
- Inside a legal consumption lounge
How to transport weed in California
It's important to note that California has passed laws regarding the transportation of cannabis and consumption laws. To safely transport cannabis legally in California, your cannabis must meet the following requirements:
- Cannabis must be transported by an adult aged 21 years old or older
- The amount of cannabis transported may not exceed the legal possession limit of 28.5 grams of THC and 8 grams of concentrates
In California, it is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. The penalty for driving while under the influence of cannabis starts with 96 hours - 6 months of jail time and a fine ranging from $390-1,000. These fines continue to get steeper based on the first, second, or third offense. To comply with California cannabis laws, you should only have enough weed on you equal to or less than the legal possession limits.
History of weed in California
Originally a state built on agriculture, film, and tourism, California is now a leading center for industries like software, healthcare, tourism, and cannabis. The Golden State has one of the most progressive attitudes regarding recreational cannabis use, with grassroots efforts beginning as far back as 1996 when the state approved the Compassionate Use Act that allowed for the medical use of marijuana. Later in 2016, recreational marijuana was put on the ballot and passed by 56% of California voters, ushering in adult-use marijuana and recreational dispensaries across the state.
Types of weed products available in California
Recreational dispensaries in California offer a wide selection of cannabis products ranging in price, quality, potency, and unique cannabinoid combinations (Ex. high THC, low CBD). Cannabis products widely available in California dispensaries include cannabis flower, THC concentrates, THC edibles, cartridges, and pre-rolls.
But before you start shopping, make yourself familiar with California's cannabis purchase limits. While it's legal to possess up to 28.5 grams of cannabis, there are limits to how much you can purchase per day. If you visit a weed dispensary today in California, you can walk away with:
- 1 ounce of flower (28.5 grams)
- 8 grams of cannabis concentrates (edibles, oil, wax, shatter, rosin)
Frequently asked questions
Yes, both recreational and medical marijuana is legal in California. Get more information on California marijuana laws in Leafly's Legalization hub.