Increased marijuana legalization is a wonderful thing. But it has also caused some confusion. Weed is not yet legal on a federal level. As a result, weed laws change from state to state and city to city. It’s difficult to know what applies in your location. This article will discuss what you need to know about using weed in Costa Mesa so you are clear on your rights.
The History of Using Weed in Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa has approved different measures throughout the years that changed the city’s weed laws. Here are some you should be familiar with.
- Measure X: Also known as the City of Costa Mesa Medical Marijuana Measure, Measure X was approved by voters in 2016. It allowed non-retail medical uses (such as distribution, processing, manufacturing, transportation, research, development, and testing) in an area of the city known as the “Green Zone”.
- Measure Q: The Costa Mesa Retail Cannabis Tax and Regulation Measure, or Measure Q, was approved by voters in the 2020 election. It allowed the city to create rules that set guidelines for cannabis use, dispensaries, and delivery.
Formal reviews and public hearings have been conducted since 2022 to determine which businesses would be licensed.
Laws On Using Weed in Costa Mesa and Orange County
The laws for using weed in Costa Mesa are dictated by Orange County. Here are some things to be aware of.
Possession: Residents of Costa Mesa 21 and over are permitted to possess up to 28.5 grams of cannabis or up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana or hashish for personal use.
Consumption: There are laws concerning where you can consume marijuana in Costa Mesa. Marijuana consumption is permitted in private residences with the consent of the property owner only. You cannot consume marijuana in your home if you rent your property and the landlord or owner prohibits marijuana use. You are also not permitted to consume cannabis in the workplace if your employer does not allow it.
Marijuana Cultivation: Costa Mesa residents 21 and over can grow up to six marijuana plants for recreational use per property.
Marijuana Sales: Marijuana sales are legal in Costa Mesa, but you must have a license to sell. If you are unlicensed and are caught selling marijuana, you will face charges that vary according to how much weed you are selling, the age of the person you sell to, your criminal record, and other circumstances of the sale.
Driving on Marijuana: According to Costa Mesa law, you cannot operate a vehicle with cannabis in it unless it is in a closed bag or container. If the cannabis is in an open box, you may be prosecuted. Operating any vehicle under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
Medical Marijuana: Costa Mesa medical marijuana laws differ from recreational laws in that there is no legal limit on how much a patient can possess or grow. However, the amount possessed or grown should not exceed doctor recommendations. Medical marijuana laws apply to people 21 and over. Younger patients need parental consent to possess or grow cannabis.
Cannabis Businesses That May Operate in Costa Mesa: Costa Mesa permits the operation of manufacturing, distribution, and testing labs and retail businesses that offer dispensary and home delivery services.
Federal Law Can Apply to Using Weed in Costa Mesa
Using weed in Costa Mesa and other parts of California is legal. But marijuana is still illegal under federal law. The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) still sees marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug meaning it has little medical benefits and a high addiction risk.
Recent laws have been enacted to protect people who cultivate, possess, or transport weed while complying with state laws. However, federal prosecutors may still arrest people for possession or cultivation even if they are following local laws. Arrests will typically occur if the individual is linked to large-scale traffickers and organized crime units.
Cannabis Legalization and the Orange County Economy
Cannabis legalization has positively impacted the Orange County economy. Cannabis taxable sales have been on an upward trajectory between 2018 and 2021 as follows:
- 2018: $47.4m cannabis taxable sales
- 2019: $120.4m cannabis taxable sales
- 2020: $212.6m cannabis taxable sales
- 2021: $63.8m in the first quarter alone
The money has been used to fund community projects, enhance law enforcement, and fund staff positions in the Cannabis Public Benefits Fund.
Cannabis Legalization and the Orange County Crime Rate
Using weed in Costa Mesa has also caused a decline in crime rates as follows:
- 2017: 1914 drug-related arrests in Orange County
- 2018: 1855 drug-related arrests in Orange County
- 2019: 1767 drug-related arrests in Orange County
- 2020: 1853 drug-related arrests in Orange County
The numbers show an overall declining trend since using weed in Costa Mesa and Orange County became legal in 2018. They continue to drop.
Unfortunately, Orange County has seen an increase in DUI arrests since cannabis was legalized in 2018. Numbers dropped between 2015-2017, but there was a 9.2% increase when legalization went into effect.
Using Weed in Costa Mesa- Best Dispensaries in the City
Using weed in Costa Mesa has never been easier thanks to the many dispensaries now open in the area. There are several to choose from, but South Coast Safe Access is a recommended choice.
South Coast Safe Access offers various high-quality brands and products. Our knowledgeable staff will help you find the items that are suited to your needs. We provide friendly service and affordable prices.
Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer.