California

California

1,580,488
Registered Patient Population
Estimated 4%
of Total Population Represented by Patients
650
Total Medical Retail Locations Currently in Operation
2,432 : 1
Patients : Retail

Cannabis is legal to all adults over 21 in California. Despite this, a Byzantine regulatory structure has many counties and towns throughout the state with local restrictions keeping dispensaries from opening or producers from operating. Many of these local restrictions which came with adult use cannabis have unfortunately impacted medical cannabis patients by allowing localities to ban activities previously permitted to patients. Patients in rural areas still report a lack of access, and patients across the state report a lack of consistency when it comes to the quality of their medication. Patients also face high prices due in part to high taxes. California does not recognize out of state medical cannabis cards.

Patient Rights and Civil Protection 79/100   
Arrest Protection 40/40
Affirmative Defense 13/15
Parental Rights Protections 10/10
DUI Protections 0/5
Employment Protections 0/5
Explicit Privacy Standards 7/7
Housing Protections 0/5
Does Not Create New Criminal Penalties for Patients 3/5
Organ Transplants 5/5
Reciprocity 1/3
Access to Medicine 82/100   
Allows Distribution Programs 34/40
– Allows Access to Dried Flowers 15/15
– Allows Delivery 3/5
– No Sales Tax or Reasonable Sales Tax 1/5
– Allows for a Reasonable Number of Dispensaries 5/5
– Does Not Require Vertical Integration 2/2
– Ownership/Employment Restrictions 2/2
– Provisions for Labor Standards 2/2
– Environmental Impact Regulations 2/2
– Choice of Dispensary Without Restrictions 2/2
Noncommercial Cultivation 15/20
– Personal Cultivation 15/15
– Collective Gardening 0/5
Explicit Right to Edibles/Concentrates/Other Forms 9/10
Does not Impose Bans or Limits on THC 10/10
Does not Impose Bans on CBD 10/10
Local Bans/Zoning 4/10
Comprehensive Qualifying Conditions 50/50
Adding New Conditions 10/10
– Law/Regulations Allow for New Conditions 5/5
– System Works for Adding New Conditions 5/5
Reasonable Access for Minors 10/10
Reasonable Caregiver Background Checks 4/4
Number of Caregivers 2/2
Patient/Practitioner-Focused Task Force or Advisory Board 0/2
Reasonable Fees (Patients and Caregivers) 7/10
Allows Multiple-Year Registrations 0/2
Reasonable Physician Requirements 5/5
Does Not Classify Cannabis as a Medicine of Last Resort 5/5
Functionality 82/100   
Patients Able to Access Medicine at Dispensaries or by Cultivation 40/50
No Significant Administrative or Supply Problems 12/15
Patients Can Receive Legal Protections Within Reasonable Time Frame of Doctor's Recommendation 10/10
Reasonable Possession Limits 5/5
Reasonable Purchase Limits 5/5
Allows Patients to Medicate Where They Choose 3/5
Covered by Insurance/State Health Aid 0/3
Financial Hardship (Fee Waivers/Discount Medicine) 7/7
Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements 84/100   
Dispensing 18.75/25.00
Staff Training 5/5
Standard Operating Procedures 3.75/5
– Facility Sanitary Conditions 0/1.25
– Storage Protocols 1.25/1.25
– Reasonable Security Protocols 1.25/1.25
– Inventory Control 1.25/1.25
Recall Protocol and Adverse Event Reporting 0/5
Product Labeling 5/5
– Product Contents, Including Source Material Identification 1.67/1.67
– Allergens 1.67/1.67
– Potency/Compound Identification 1.67/1.67
Required Testing 5/5
– Active Compound Identification 1.67/1.67
– Contaminants 1.67/1.67
– Potency 1.67/1.67
Grow/Cultivation 20/25
Staff Training 5/5
Standard Operating Procedures 5/5
– Facility and Equipment Sanitary Conditions 0.71/0.71
– Workforce Safety Protocols 0.71/0.71
– Storage Protocols (Short-Term and Long-Term Storage) 0.71/0.71
– Reasonable Security Protocols 0.71/0.71
– Batch and Lot Tracking 0.71/0.71
– Disposal/Waste 0.71/0.71
– Water Management 0.71/0.71
Pesticide Guidance 5/5
– Pesticide Guidance 2.5/2.5
– Pesticide Labeling 2.5/2.5
Required Testing 5/5
– Active Ingredient Identification 1.25/1.25
– Contaminants 1.25/1.25
– Potency 1.25/1.25
– Sample Retention 1.25/1.25
Recall Protocol and Adverse Event Reporting 0/5
Manufacturing 25/25
Staff Training 5/5
Standard Operating Procedures 5/5
– Facility and Equipment Sanitary Conditions 1/1
– Workforce Safety Protocols 1/1
– Storage Protocols 1/1
– Reasonable Security Protocols 1/1
– Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
Product Labeling 5/5
– Product Contents, Including Source Material Identification 1.67/1.67
– Allergens 1.67/1.67
– Potency and Compound Information 1.67/1.67
Required Testing 5/5
– Active Ingredient Identification 1/1
– Contaminants 1/1
– Potency 1/1
– Shelf Life Testing 1/1
– Sample Retention 1/1
Recall Protocol and Adverse Event Reporting 5/5
Laboratory Operations 20/25
Staff Training 5/5
Method Validation in Accordance with AHPA Guidelines 0/5
Result Reporting 5/5
Independent or Third Party 5/5
Standard Operating Procedures and Protocols 5/5
– Equipment and Instrument Calibration 0.83/0.83
– Sample Tracking 0.83/0.83
– Facility and Equipment Sanitary Conditions 0.83/0.83
– Disposal/Waste 0.83/0.83
– Storage Protocols 0.83/0.83
– Workforce Safety Protocols 0.83/0.83
Covid Response 19/20   
Delivery Available? 6/6
Curbside Pickup Available? 1/2
Medical Cannabis Essential? 7/7
Telemedicine Available? 5/5
Excerpted from ASA's 2020 State of the States Report.
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The State of Medical Marijuana in California