Your rights

Cannabis law for consumers

It is legal in California to purchase and use cannabis if you are 21 years or older. But, like tobacco and alcohol, there are laws about growing, consuming, transporting and being under the influence of cannabis that you need to follow.

Buying, selling and growing cannabis in San Francisco

You can only buy cannabis from licensed cannabis retailers. Adults can buy and carry up to 1 ounce (28.5 grams) of adult-use cannabis and up to 8 grams of adult-use concentrated cannabis.

You can only sell cannabis if you have the appropriate Cannabis Permits from San Francisco and a license from California.

You can grow, harvest, dry, and process up to 6 cannabis plants in your home or in a locked and enclosed yard that is not visible to the public, and only if the property owner approves.

Responsible use

You must lock up cannabis and cannabis products away from children and pets.

Cannabis for medical use

If you use cannabis to treat a medical condition, you need a Medical Marijuana ID card or a physician’s recommendation to buy medical cannabis. You do not pay sales tax if you buy cannabis with a Medical Marijuana ID card.

Using cannabis in San Francisco

You cannot smoke, eat, vape, or use cannabis:

  • in public places, like parks and sidewalks

  • near schools or anywhere  with children (you can’t even carry cannabis at places like day care centers)

  • inside most buildings, like workplaces, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, and the common areas of multi-unit housing

  • at outdoor public events like music festivals, street fairs and parades

Generally, you can’t smoke or vape cannabis in places where you can’t smoke tobacco.

You can use cannabis in private homes if the owner allows it. You can consume adult-use or medicinal cannabis in a cannabis dispensary that has a consumption lounge.


Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and you can be arrested, fined, and have your license suspended.

You cannot drive or ride in a vehicle with an open container of cannabis. Cannabis must be sealed or kept in the trunk.

Cannabis at work

Employers can still:

  • have a drug and alcohol-free workplace

  • require drug tests for employees

  • turn you down for a job because you use cannabis

  • fire you, demote you, or take other action against you for using cannabis

Federal law

Even though cannabis is legal under California law, it is still considered an illegal drug by the federal government. Federal authorities may arrest and prosecute individuals who violate federal law, even if their conduct is legal under state and local law.

Many places in California, like airports, national parks, federal buildings, and military installations are policed by federal authorities.

If you have questions or concerns about compliance with federal law, you should seek legal advice.


The state has provided information on the penalties for:

More information

California’s Let’s Talk Cannabis page on responsible use can help you learn more about how to use cannabis safely.

California Department of Public Health has information on what’s legal for adults who want to grow, buy and give away adult-use cannabis.

National Academies of Science and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have more information on health and cannabis use.