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Traveling for 4/20? Brush Up on State Marijuana Laws

(Updated April 13, 2018)

Planning to hit the road for 4/20? Keep in mind these state-by-state cannabis laws before you travel so you can have a safe and fun celebration.

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Alaska Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Alaska is one of several states with an active legal retail cannabis market in addition to its medical marijuana program. If you’re traveling to Alaska for 4/20, keep in mind the following retail cannabis rules:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to purchase, possess, or use retail cannabis, with a passport or valid state-issued ID. That includes pipes and other paraphernalia.
  • You can possess up to one (1) ounce of cannabis “on your person.” You can also have six plants for personal use in your home, three of which can be of the flowering variety. Going just over that line can result in a fine as low as $100, but possessing more than four (4) ounces is a felony, with fines as high as $50,000 and prison terms as long as five (5) years.
  • There’s not yet a firm limit on how much can be purchased per visit in the few Alaska retail outlets currently open. Few stores are open because of the slow application process for licenses, and because few licensed growers have been able to operate at a capacity that keeps retail outlets consistently stocked with product. And, so far, it’s illegal to smoke or otherwise consume cannabis at a retail site.
  • It’s illegal to possess or use cannabis on state, city or federal land, including national parks and forests, however remote — and be warned that less than one (1) percent of Alaska’s 663,300 square miles is in private ownership. Some cannabis cultivation is happening on the state’s 44 million acres of tribal land, however, where tribes are allowed to exercise their own discretion.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of cannabis: Alaska has set no legal threshold for impairment — arrests and charges are at the discretion of law enforcement. And any cannabis product in your vehicle should be kept in a sealed container and out of sight.

Alaska Retail Cannabis Locations

Looking for a local Alaska retail cannabis shop? Use the Leafly finder to discover Alaska recreational cannabis stores.

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California Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

California, the first US state to pass a law legalizing medical marijuana, passed Proposition 64 in November 2016 to legalize the adult-use cannabis market. Regulated sales began in the state on Jan. 1, 2018. Under the new law:

  • Adults 21 and over may possess, transport, and purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower or up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrate.
  • Smoking or vaporizing cannabis products in public remains illegal, punishable by a $100 fine.
  • Some jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, now allow on-site consumption at state-licensed cannabis lounges. Most regions, however, have not yet licensed such establishments.
  • It is illegal to use cannabis products (including edibles) while in a car—yes, even if you’re a passenger.
  • Consuming cannabis or possessing an open container—meaning any cannabis container that has been opened or had its seal broken—is illegal while driving or riding in a vehicle, boat, or airplane.
  • It is illegal to transport cannabis or cannabis-infused products into or out of the state.
  • Adults can legally give away cannabis to other adults 21 and over, but it’s illegal to provide cannabis to people under 21.
  • Possession of cannabis on the grounds of a school, day care, or youth center while children are present carries a $100 fine.

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California Retail Marijuana Locations

Want to stop by a California retail marijuana shop? Use the Leafly Finder to pull up California recreational marijuana stores.

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Colorado Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Colorado is one of several states with an active legal retail cannabis market in addition to its medical-marijuana program — in fact, it was the first state to have both up and running. If you’re traveling to Colorado for 4/20, keep in mind the following retail cannabis rules under Amendment 64 guidelines:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to purchase, possess, or use retail cannabis (and don’t even think about sneaking some to minors), with a passport or valid state-issued ID. That includes pipes and other paraphernalia.
  • You can possess up to one ounce of cannabis “on your person.” But the way Amendment 64 is written, it’s actually one ounce of THC, so if you buy cannabis in edible or any other form, you’re not limited to an ounce of cannabis product. At home, you can cultivate up to six plants, three of which can be flowering.
  • At a retail outlet, you can buy up to one ounce of cannabis products at a time, whether you’re a resident or from outside the state.
  • Possession or “public display” of cannabis in excess of an ounce and below 12 ounces, is a misdemeanor punishable by as little as $100 in fines and 24 hours of community service or as much as 18 months in jail and $5,000 in fines. Possession or public display of more than 12 ounces is a felony and often considered trafficking, with especially heavy prison time and fines for selling to minors. “Public” in this case also applies to all federal forests, parks, and other properties, no matter how isolated. (More here.)
  • Staying in a hotel? Whether you can smoke up in your room (or even on a balcony) is at the discretion of the hotel. Check out the hotel’s policy before you book your stay.
  • Driving with cannabis in your car? “Open container” laws for alcohol apply in Colorado. If your cannabis container is open, has a broken seal, or you otherwise show evidence of consumption, you’ve crossed the legal line. Even a sealed clear plastic bag containing buds is considered an open container.
  • Don’t cross state lines with your Colorado-purchased cannabis. Bordering states have taken a hard line against those who bring their purchases back home, and open profiling and zealous vehicle searches are the norm for border law-enforcement agencies at all levels.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of cannabis: Colorado’s legal threshold for impairment is 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. In other words, very little.

Colorado Retail Marijuana Locations

Excited to visit a Colorado retail marijuana shop? Use the Leafly Finder to discover Colorado recreational cannabis stores.

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District of Columbia (Washington, DC) Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Possession of cannabis for those 21 and older is technically legal in Washington, DC. But there are a thousand caveats.

Unlike most other established legal jurisdictions, Washington, DC, does not permit retail sales or commercial cannabis businesses. It’s strictly a grow-your-own affair. Under current law, however, adults may gift cannabis to others over 21.

Also, cannabis legality does not obtain on any federal property within the District. And there are a lot of federal properties in the District. Like just about any park or patch of grass. Or building. Or campus. If you’re on federal property, your cannabis is federally illegal. So be aware of that.

In non-federal jurisdictions, here are the rules:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age or older with a valid, state-issued ID.
  • Although cannabis possession is legal in DC, cannabis sales are NOT. Cannabis must be gifted or otherwise transferred without monetary exchange.
  • Adults may possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis.
  • Possession of more than 2 ounces of cannabis in a public or private setting is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
  • It is illegal to consume cannabis in any public space, including streets, sidewalks, alleys, parks, parking areas, in any vehicle, and at any public space where the public may be invited. A person who breaks this law is guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of $25.
  • It is illegal to transport cannabis or cannabis-infused products across state lines.
  • Don’t drive while consuming cannabis! The penaltes for driving under the influence of cannabis could land you in jail for up to 90 days with a fine of up to $300. Take the Metro instead!

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Maine Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

As of Jan. 30, 2017, Maine became one of a handful of states to allow the use of recreational cannabis in addition to medical marijuana. If you’re traveling to Maine for 4/20, keep in mind the following rules under the guidelines of IB 2015 and its updates:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to possess or use cannabis (and don’t even think about sneaking some to minors).
  • You can possess, in your home, up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Cannabis concentrates are not currently included in Maine’s cannabis law.
  • Possession of between 2.5 ounces and 8 ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. Penalties are doubled for possession of up to 16 ounces. Possession of 16 ounces or more elevates the crime to a felony. (More here.)
  • There is no cannabis for retail sale in Maine, though that’s about to change. On April 11, 2018, the state Senate joined the House in passing veto-proof legislation to establish a framework for retail cannabis in Maine, but it’s not clear when that will become law or when actual retail operations will begin. (More here.)
  • It is illegal to publicly open or consume cannabis or a cannabis-infused product. Should you get caught consuming cannabis in a public setting, you’re subject to a civil fine of up to $100.
  • It is illegal to transport cannabis or cannabis-infused products across state lines.
  • Don’t drive even if you’ve had only a single hit, even hours before. Maine considers any level of THC in one’s system to be evidence of driving under the influence, and the penalties are the same for driving while drunk.

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Massachusetts Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Massachusetts is one of several states that allows the use of both recreational cannabis and medical marijuana. If you’re traveling to Massachusetts for 4/20, keep in mind the following cannabis rules under state guidelines:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to possess or use cannabis (and don’t even think about sneaking some to minors), with a passport or valid state-issued ID.
  • Retail cannabis sales won’t begin in Massachusetts until July 2018, and likely only a handful of medical-marijuana dispensaries will be legally able to sell recreational cannabis at that time. (More on that here.)
  • You can possess up to one ounce of cannabis “on your person” and 10 ounces in your home, as well as up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. You can gift homegrown pot, but you can’t barter with it and, of course, you can’t sell it. Those with state medical-marijuana cards can possess a 60-day supply of up to 10 ounces.
  • Possession beyond the above limits is a misdemeanor, and be warned: Massachusetts has not yet set firm guidelines for the amount at which personal possession crosses over into intent to distribute (a felony). So err on the side of less. On the bright side, first offenders get probation and a chance at a sealed criminal record. Repeat offenses at the misdemeanor end of the scale are punishable by up to two years in prison and $2,000 in fines. (More here.)
  • It is illegal to publicly open or consume cannabis or a cannabis-infused product. Should you get caught consuming cannabis in a public setting, you’re subject to a civil fine of up to $100.
  • Unless you are a registered medical marijuana patient, caregiver, or an agent of a registered marijuana dispensary, transporting marijuana in Massachusetts—let alone across state lines—is illegal. If you have a medicinal marijuana ID card, you can carry as much marijuana as your doctor prescribes you for a 60-day supply.
  • Don’t drive, period, if you’ve consumed. Massachusetts is one of several states that considers any measurable level of THC in your system to be legally under the influence, and it’s punishable as an OUI as if you were busted for drunk driving.

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Nevada Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Being the hotspot that Nevada is, many visitors to the state’s regulated cannabis shops are tourists. But while what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, don’t be too bold. Penalties for what may seem like minor offenses, such as puffing on your vape on the Strip—are in some cases heavier than in many other legal states. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Adults 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower and up to 1/8th of an ounce of cannabis concentrates. Bring a government-issued ID.
  • Are you a medical cannabis patient in another state? Nevada is one of the few states that recognizes out-of-state medical marijuana recommendations. (If you’re just planning to shop at adult-use stores, though, it’s not strictly necessary to bring your recommendation.)
  • Purchases must be made from state-licensed cannabis retailers. It remains illegal to buy cannabis from any other source or to bring it across state lines.
  • It might be tough to find a place to legally consume cannabis. State law forbids consumption in any public place or in a moving vehicle—even if you’re a passenger. “Essentially, this means it can only be consumed on private property (at home, for example), and as long as the property owner hasn’t prohibited it.” Be careful!
  • Unlike in some other states, penalties for public consumption in Nevada can be stiff, ranging up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, plus possible community service.
  • Don’t drive! It’s illegal to drive under the use of marijuana, which can be detected using a urine sample, blood sample, or field sobriety test. Doing so can be costly and dangerous. Play it safe and call a car if you need to get around.
  • Sharing your joint? Keep it legal. Providing cannabis or cannabis products to people under 21 carries a minimum one-year jail sentence—and that’s just for the first offense. Subsequent violations can mean life in prison.

Once you arrive, be sure to pull up the Leafly Finder to find a licensed retailer.

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Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Nevada, Spring 2018

Oregon Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Oregon is one of several states with an active legal retail cannabis market in addition to its medical-marijuana program. If you’re traveling to Oregon for 4/20, keep in mind the following retail cannabis rules under state guidelines:

  • Adult marijuana consumers 21 years of age and older may possess up to 8 ounces of usable cannabis in their homes but only one ounce “on their person” in public. You can possess up to one ounce of cannabis, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of infused product in liquid form for personal consumption. You can also possess 5 grams of concentrated cannabis.
  • Smoking or vaporizing cannabis in public—or on federal or tribal lands, however remote—is illegal.
  • A registered Oregon medical marijuana patient may possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana. For now, despite a recent appeals-court ruling, Oregon doesn’t recognize out-of-state medical-marijuana cards.
  • Don’t get behind the wheel even if you’ve taken a single hit or dose hours before. Any amount of THC in your system is considered evidence of impairment and could subject you to the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • It is illegal to transport cannabis or cannabis-infused products across state lines.

Oregon Retail Marijuana Locations

Want to stop by a Oregon retail marijuana shop? Sixteen Oregon counties and 73 Oregon municipalities (mostly in Central and Eastern Oregon) forbid retail cannabis sales. Use the Leafly finder to discover Oregon recreational cannabis stores.

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Vermont Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Here’s the main thing to know: If you are consuming cannabis on 4/20 in the Green Mountain State, you are doing so illegally, unless you are a medical marijuana patient. The Vermont Legislature passed adult-use legalization earlier this year, but the new law does not actually take effect until July 1, 2018.

So, just to be clear: The adult use of cannabis is not legal in Vermont yet.

When it becomes legal, on July 1, here are the main rules:

  • The new law allows for small and private home grows, possession, and consumption.
  • Commercial farming and retail sales are not allowed. That, hopefully, will come a little later down the road. Gov. Scott’s Marijuana Advisory Committee is scheduled to deliver a report by Dec. 15 that lays out recommendations for a legal, regulated state system.
  • As of July 1, possession of up to one ounce of cannabis flower is legal for adults age 21 and older.
  • Possession of up to five grams of hashish will also be legal.
  • Private individuals of legal age may grow up to two mature (flowering) cannabis plants per dwelling. They may also grow up to four immature (non-budding) plants per dwelling.

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Washington Adult-Use Marijuana Guidelines

Washington is one of several states with an active legal retail cannabis market in addition to its medical-marijuana program. If you’re traveling to Washington for 4/20, keep in mind the following retail cannabis rules under I-502 guidelines:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to purchase, possess, or use retail cannabis (and don’t even think about sneaking some to minors), with a passport or valid state-issued ID. That includes pipes and other paraphernalia.
  • You can possess up to one ounce of cannabis, seven ounces of concentrated cannabis, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of infused product in liquid form for personal consumption.
  • Possession of over one ounce to 40 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum of 24 hours in jail (up to 90 days max), plus a $250 fine for the first offense. (Over 40 grams is a class C felony, so don’t.)
  • It is illegal to publicly open or consume cannabis or a cannabis-infused product. Should you get caught consuming cannabis in a public setting, you’re subject to a civil fine of up to $100.
  • It is illegal to transport cannabis or cannabis-infused products across state lines.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of cannabis: I-502 has set a per se DUI limit of 5 nanograms or greater of “delta-9” THC levels per milliliter of blood. When in doubt, catch a ride or use a rideshare service.

Washington Retail Marijuana Locations

Want to stop by a Washington retail marijuana shop? Use the Leafly Finder to pull up Washington state recreational cannabis stores.

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Public Cannabis Consumption Laws: A State-By-State Guide

 

Other State Medical Marijuana Guidelines

4/20 events will be taking place in many states across the country. You’d be wise to brush up on your state’s cannabis laws.

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America’s 2016 Cannabis Laws and Legalization State Map

For more details on each state’s cannabis laws, check out NORML’s state marijuana information. Have a happy, fun, and safe 4/20, everyone!