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California Health And Safety Code 11362.1 HS


Los Angeles Criminal Defense LawyerCalifornia Health and Safety Code 11362.1, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, was enacted in 1996 to legalize the use of medical cannabis in California. This law permits the use of cannabis for medical purposes by patients who have received a recommendation from a licensed physician.

This code section, amended by Proposition 64 in 2016 and further modified in 2017, outlines specific allowances and legal protections for individuals 21 years of age or older concerning the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis. This code is part of the broader framework that governs the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana in the state, particularly after the passage of Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), in 2016.

The law provides some protection to individuals who use cannabis for medical purposes, but it is important to understand the specifics of the law in order to avoid any legal troubles.

(a) Subject to Sections 11362.2, 11362.3, 11362.4, and 11362.45, but notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be lawful under state and local law, and shall not be a violation of state or local law, for persons 21 years of age or older to:

(1) Possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give away to persons 21 years of age or older without any compensation whatsoever, not more than 28.5 grams of cannabis not in the form of concentrated cannabis;

(2) Possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give away to persons 21 years of age or older without any compensation whatsoever, not more than eight grams of cannabis in the form of concentrated cannabis, including as contained in cannabis products;

(3) Possess, plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process not more than six living cannabis plants and possess the cannabis produced by the plants;

(4) Smoke or ingest cannabis or cannabis products; and

(5) Possess, transport, purchase, obtain, use, manufacture, or give away cannabis accessories to persons 21 years of age or older without any compensation whatsoever.

(b) Paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) is intended to meet the requirements of subsection (f) of Section 863 of Title 21 of the United States Code (21 U.S.C. Sec. 863(f)) by authorizing, under state law, any person in compliance with this section to manufacture, possess, or distribute cannabis accessories.

(c) Cannabis and cannabis products involved in any way with conduct deemed lawful by this section are not contraband nor subject to seizure, and no conduct deemed lawful by this section shall constitute the basis for detention, search, or arrest.


What is allowed under California Health and Safety Code 11362.1?

Under California Health and Safety Code 11362.1, individuals who have received a physician’s recommendation for the use of medical cannabis are allowed to:

  • Possess and use medical cannabis: Adults are allowed to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.
  • Cultivate medical cannabis in limited quantities: Individuals are permitted to grow up to six marijuana plants per residence, subject to certain restrictions.
  • Obtain or purchase medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.
  • Register with the California Department of Public Health as a qualified patient (optional but recommended).

What are the limitations under California Health and Safety Code 11362.1?

While California Health and Safety Code 11362.1 permits the use of medical cannabis, it is important to understand the limitations of the law to avoid any legal repercussions. Some of the key limitations include:

  • The law does not permit the use of medical cannabis in public places.
  • The law prohibits driving while under the influence of medical cannabis, just like alcohol.
  • The law does not permit the sale or distribution of medical cannabis for profit.
  • The law limits the amount of medical cannabis that patients and caregivers can possess or cultivate.

It is important to note that the limitations and requirements of California Health and Safety Code 11362.1 can vary based on the specific city or county where you reside. Moreover, the sale and distribution of marijuana without proper licensing are still illegal. Therefore, it is important to stay up to date on any local regulations that may be in place.

Medicinal Cannabis Provisions

  • Standard Possession Limits: A qualified patient or caregiver can possess up to eight ounces of dried cannabis and cultivate up to six mature or 12 immature plants per patient.
  • Physician’s Recommendation: If a physician recommends, patients or caregivers may possess amounts exceeding these limits.
  • Local Guidelines: Counties and cities may set guidelines allowing for possession amounts exceeding state limits.

What are the Penalties of violating California Health and Safety Code 11362.1?

Violating California Health and Safety Code 11362.1 can result in both criminal and civil penalties. Individuals who violate the law may face fines, jail time, and restrictions on their ability to use medical cannabis in the future.


However, other factors such as possession of large quantities of cannabis or involvement in illegal distribution may result in more severe penalties, including criminal charges, fines, and potentially imprisonment.

Common defenses for California Health and Safety Code 11362.1

Common defenses against charges related to California Health and Safety Code 11362.1 may include:

  • Valid medical cannabis recommendation: Providing evidence of a valid and current recommendation from a licensed physician.
  • Compliance with the law: Demonstrating that the defendant adhered to the requirements and limitations outlined in California Health and Safety Code 11362.1.
  • Lack of evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence related to possession, cultivation, or use of medical cannabis.

Immigration Consequences

A conviction under California Health and Safety Code 11362.1 can have immigration consequences, especially for non-U.S. citizens. Depending on the circumstances, it could potentially impact visa applications, immigration status, or even lead to deportation proceedings. Please contact an immigration lawyer for further guidance on immigration consequences of a 11362.1 conviction.

Compliance with Federal Requirements

This section is designed to align with federal law, specifically subsection (f) of Section 863 of Title 21 of the United States Code. This alignment authorizes, under state law, the manufacture, possession, or distribution of cannabis accessories for those in compliance with Section 11362.1.

Speak With Criminal Defense Lawyer From Tabibnia Law Firm

In conclusion, California Health and Safety Code 11362.1 provides individuals with access to medical cannabis for treatment purposes. However, it is important to understand the limitations of the law and comply with all regulations to avoid any legal repercussions. While 11362.1 decriminalizes possession and cultivation within certain limits, possessing, selling, or cultivating marijuana beyond these limits remains illegal under other sections of the Health and Safety Code, such as sections 11357, 11358, 11359, and 11360. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that you comply with all legal requirements and protect your rights under California Health and Safety Code 11362.1.


If you or someone you know is currently serving a sentence for a cannabis-related conviction in California, the process of petitioning for the recall or dismissal of a sentence can be complex. You should seek legal assistance to navigate through it successfully.

Tabibnia Law Firm is a trusted and experienced law firm that specializes in criminal defense and can provide the necessary guidance and support throughout the petitioning process. The top rated attorney Mr. Cyrus Tabibnia is knowledgeable about California Health & Safety Code § 11361.8 and can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the steps to achieve the best possible outcome.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Tabibnia Law Firm at 866-713-2159 today for a consultation and get the legal help you need to explore your options under this section of the law. Remember, time is of the essence, so take the first step towards a brighter future now by contacting Tabibnia Law Firm.

Please note that this blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Individuals seeking assistance should consult with qualified legal professionals.

Cyrus S Tabibnia

Cyrus S Tabibnia

The Tabibnia Law Firm retains years of experience successfully representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes,Theft Crimes, Crime Against Children, Driving Crimes, Rape Crimes, driving under the influence (DUIs), domestic violence cases, drug possession cases, state and federal crimes, white color crimes, driving on a suspended license offenses, violent crimes, sex crimes, Forgery and all other criminal defense cases throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, San Fernando Valley, Ventura County and Riverside County. Call for a consultation today: 866-713-2159

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