Can I Give Marijuana As a Gift?

Recreational marijuana became legal in the state of California at the beginning of the year. This holiday season, you may be wondering if you can give marijuana as a gift to your friends and family. Generally speaking, gifting marijuana is legal. However, you’ll have to make sure that you keep your gift within the boundaries of the law. It is possible to face criminal charges if you deviate from acceptable practices.

Be Careful How Much You Give

Just because marijuana is legal doesn’t mean that you can buy or possess as much as you want.

Recreational Marijuana

As a resident of California, you’re only allowed to buy a maximum of 28.5 grams at one time. That’s a little bit more than an ounce. You cannot possess any more than this at any one time, either.

If you want to give marijuana to all of your friends and family this winter, you may want to do so sparingly. If you have more than 28.5 grams on you at one time, you could face some severe fines.

If you have enough in your possession, you could even be arrested for possession with intent to sell, which carries very harsh penalties. Intent to sell is typically a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months in jail and/or criminal fines. However, you could be charged with a felony if you have prior marijuana offenses or have been convicted of a violent crime.

It’s also important to be mindful of whether or not the intended recipient of your gift already has a stash of their own. They can get into trouble – including 6 months behind bars and substantial fines – if your gift puts them over the 28.5-gram limit.

Cannabis Concentrate and Plants

It’s also legal to buy cannabis concentrate and plants. However, there are also limits on how much of these substances you can have in your possession at one time. When you buy concentrates, including tinctures and edibles, you can only possess up to 8 grams at one time. You’ll also be limited to six marijuana plants.

Make Sure The Recipient is Allowed to Possess Marijuana

Recreational marijuana is only legal for adults over the age of 21. It’s still against the law for minors and most young adults to buy or possess the drug. Adults between the ages of 18 and 20 can purchase and use marijuana, but only with a doctor’s prescription.

Gifting marijuana to a person under the age of 21 can have some serious consequences. The young recipient of your gift could be cited for an infraction and required to pay fines and/or complete drug counseling and community service.

You could be charged with a felony if you give marijuana to a minor. If the recipient is at least 14, but not older than 18, you could be sentenced to between 3 and 5 years in prison.

Remember That Marijuana Is Still Illegal At the Federal Level

Recreational marijuana may be legal in the state of California. However, it’s important to remember that marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule I Controlled Substance under federal law. You or the recipient of your gift could be charged with federal crimes even if your behavior complies with state law.

You can limit the risk of federal prosecution if you keep the gift within the state of California. Always avoid mailing marijuana, taking it on an airplane, or traveling with it over state lines. These behaviors are illegal and can land you in serious trouble.


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