Laws You Need to Know Before You Buy or Consume Marijuana in San Francisco, California

Recreational cannabis was legalized on January 1st, 2018, but that doesn’t mean we earn 100% freedom with the herb. It is still a psychoactive drug that should be used safely and responsibly. And part of that is learning the laws. That’s why in this article, we have outlined all of the laws you need to know before you buy and consume marijuana in San Francisco, California.

You’ll learn:

  • Who can use it?
  • How much can be purchased?
  • Where it can be used.
  • How to find legal dispensaries.
  • And much more!

image of wall with a cannabis leaf and the word legal as a concept for legal consumption of marijuana in San Francisco, California; Photo by Greta Schölderle Møller on Unsplash

Twenty-One Isn’t Only For Drinking

You have to be an adult in order to touch the green goddess…or is it the magic dragon? It’s time to talk about age restrictions on cannabis.

To obtain and consume medical marijuana in San Francisco, California, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid Medical Marijuana ID card. For recreational users, that age requirement increases by three years. You have to be 21 years old to obtain and consume recreational cannabis legally.

Just One Ounce or Less

You can’t just buy all the marijuana you want. The limit is one ounce or 28 grams per day for buds or flowers, 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, or 2800 mg of THC edibles. This doesn’t mean you can buy your limit per day and stockpile it in your pantry. You cannot possess more than this without serious repercussions.

Speaking of pantries, where you put your stash matters too. It must be locked up to safeguard pets or children from accessing it. This is the law, not just common sense.

If the police find any more weed than what is allowed within your possession, you can face criminal charges because they will assume you are selling it. Leave the selling to us—the legal, licensed dispensary. If you don’t have a license, it can spell big trouble for you.

Those with a Medical Marijuana ID Card can buy up to eight ounces at a time (more if their doctor recommends it). The restrictions are far less for those who need it as a medication with a certified professional’s approval.

Consume Cannabis at Home or in a Dispensary

If you have ever seen someone walk down the street as they eat or smoke cannabis products openly, and you think they are law-abiding citizens, think again! The reality is far less romantic than portrayed in films. When you consume marijuana in San Francisco, California, stay away from public spaces.

Photo by Grav on Unsplash

Before you take a hit or pop that gummy, be aware of your surroundings. You might be ticketed by a local police officer. It is illegal to consume cannabis in any form (including edibles) in any public place where smoking tobacco is not allowed… and then some.

You cannot smoke, vape, or consume cannabis in any way in the following places:

  • Sidewalks
  • Parks
  • Venues
  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Businesses
  • Boats
  • Vehicles
  • Outdoor Events (excluding licensed Marijuana events)
  • Multi-Housing Units

If an open container is found in your possession within these places, it is also illegal. Even if you are the passenger in a vehicle, you will be ticketed. If you have any THC in your system and you are driving, it could cost you up to $10,000 and a suspended license.

Cannabis is still very illegal on a federal level, which means that you can be severely prosecuted by the law if you were to consume or possess THC and / or CBD products in the following places:

  • Airports
  • Libraries
  • Military Installations
  • On Public Transportation
  • Federal Buildings
  • National Parks

It might not be fun to smoke in the privacy of your own home, but it’s legal and still just as rewarding.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Buy From Legal Dispensaries

Did you know that one in every five dispensaries is legal in San Francisco? Protect yourself and your rights by purchasing your cannabis from only verified, licensed distributors like Medithrive.

Ask for their license number

When investigating which dispensary is right for you, ask your cannabis provider for their eleven digit license number. That long sequence of numerals can be cross-referenced at the Bureau of Cannabis Control License Search.

Why don’t you test it out? Medithrive’s license number is C10-0000490-LIC

Why worry if a dispensary is legal?

Safety and taxes. These two reasons intertwine. Read on to see what we mean.

Excise Taxes

Excise taxes are a special cannabis tax required by the government. Most illegal dispensaries will not charge this tax and appear to have cheaper prices and better deals because of it. It might look enticing to you, but it’s risky business. If an illegal dispensary is raided, excise taxes that were not paid and owed will be taken from the consumers–that means you! Always be certain that your receipts include excise tax to avoid this sticky situation. Excise taxes are there to cover the strict testing every cannabis product must pass. This is why…

Legal = Safe

Fun Fact: Marijuana is more carefully analyzed by authorities than the food we eat!

Illegal dispensaries provide unsafe, untested products that could have traces of heavy metals, toxins, bacteria, or other impurities that could endanger your health. Is the cheaper price really worth the risk?

Consume Marijuana in San Francisco, California Safely

You deserve quality cannabis at the lowest (legal) prices in town. Medithrive Cannabis Dispensary and Delivery only carries products that have been lab-tested and meet all state packaging requirements. Stop by today or check out our online store.

Stay safe when you medicate!


“Know Your Rights as a Cannabis Consumer.” Know Your Rights as a Cannabis Consumer | San Francisco, 2020,
Romine, Stepfanie. “Story from Higher Elevation: Before You Buy Cannabis, Brush up on California Laws and Safety Precautions.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 8 July 2019,
Talia Lux, The California Cannabis Industry: The Complexities Since Recreational Legalization, 13 J. Bus. Entrepreneurship & L. 209 (2020) Available at:



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