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California, Cannabis & What is Legal Use

legal use of weed in CA

Now that California has opened up to recreational sales and legal use of cannabis, many may be left wondering – what does this mean? What exactly does legalized cannabis mean? Below is a basic guideline to help you navigate the complicated arena between medical cannabis and recreational or adult-use cannabis.

Who Can Buy Cannabis?

The age and legal requirement for people that want to buy cannabis is different depending on whether it is for medical use or adult-use.

Medical Use Cannabis
  • Persons 18 years and older in possession of either a VALID county issued MMIC or valid physician rec
  • Be a primary caregiver of a person possessing either rec – section 11362.7(d) or 11362.5(e)
Legal Use of Recreational Cannabis
  • Persons 21 or older can buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary or delivery service

Benefits to Medical Rec

Now that recreational cannabis is legal to buy in California some may want to toss out their medical rec and save on the cost of renewing their current medical rec. NOT SO FAST! If you have a county issued medical rec you do not have to pay sales and use taxes on medical cannabis products – other taxes may apply, but you’d be saving at least 7.75% from sales tax.

So What Exactly is Legal & What is NOT: Adult-Use Cannabis?

The list for legal use and illegal use may be extensive, but we have highlighted some of the guidelines you can expect:

Legal Use

  • Persons 21 and older can buy cannabis products
  • Persons 21 and older can grow and cultivate up to six (6) cannabis plants for personal use provided that they be locked up and out of public view
  • Consuming cannabis on private property is allowed


  • Cannot consume in public or within 1,000 feet of a school, rec center, or youth center
  • Cannot consume while you drive or operate a vehicle or boat
  • Cannot have an open container in your vehicle
  • Cannot consume on federal lands such as national parks (still federally illegal)
  • Cannot transport across state lines even if traveling to another state that has legalized cannabis

For a more comprehensive list of what is legal, check out the California Department of Public Health website.

Final Note – Jobs & Cannabis Consumption

Remember, even though the recreational use of cannabis is now legal use of cannabis, employers can still prohibit its use by their employees. This is still true if you are a medical cannabis user in many states – know the law and your rights under ADA in your state and locally. An informed decision to consume cannabis is always recommended.

Driving High: Enforcement & Penalties of Cannabis DUI

driving high - cannabis DUI

Is a cannabis DUI really a thing? Adult use of cannabis may be legal in California, but driving under the influence of cannabis is not. Like alcohol, if you are found to be under the influence of cannabis while driving, you are guilty of DUI under Vehicle Code 23152(e)VC which states that a person is guilty if he or she drives while mental abilities are impaired by cannabis to the extent that he or she is unable to drive with the caution of a sober person using ordinary care.

Bottom line is any amount of cannabis consumption, whether that is ADULT USE or medical marijuana, puts you at risk of a DUI.

How is a Cannabis DUI Measured?

There is currently no standardized amount that has been widely accepted to be a reliable measure for the effect of cannabis on the brain. Why? There hasn’t been a chemically based test created that standardizes the effect of cannabis because everyone’s biochemistry is different.

In the meantime, California may adopt DUI standards that have been in place in other states that have decriminalized cannabis and is legal for adult use. For example, Colorado’s standard for DUI is having more than five (5) nanograms of THC per milliliter (ml) of blood. However, scientifically that doesn’t tell us much. Does not tell officers if a detained person is still intoxicated and it does not conclusively tell officers if someone is impaired or not.

Why Is It So Hard to Tell If Someone Is High?

Let’s take alcohol as an example. Ethanol, alcohol in beverages, is water soluble. We are made up of a lot of water – up to 60% in adults. Because we are made up of water, ethanol is flushed out of our bodies in hours.

THC on the other hand is fat soluble. It gets trapped in our fat stores in our bodies making the length of time that THC spends in the body variable from person to person. Its fat soluble qualities makes THC leech out of our fat stores over time and is the reason you can still test positive for THC up to 30 days after consuming cannabis.

Cannabis DUI - what is the penalty, enforcement and criteria

What is a Cannabis DUI Based On?

Law enforcement will use many factors in determining whether a person is driving while impaired. Some factors may include:

  • Circumstantial evidence (open containers, cannabis paraphernalia, etc.)
  • Roadside sobriety tests
  • Dilated pupils
  • Odor of cannabis on body
  • Red eyes
  • Cottonmouth
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Officer’s best guess

What Are The Penalties: 1st time Cannabis DUI

Penalties for a first time cannabis DUI offense may vary from case to case, but the basic guidelines may include:

  • Informal probation with a three to five year duration
  • Anywhere from four days to six months in county jail
  • A fine that could range anywhere from $390 – $1,000 plus any legal and court fees that you may incur during the process
  • Six month suspension of a driver’s license
  • Required attendance of DUI school for three to nine months

Any or all of these penalties may be augmented if the detained person on suspicion of DUI refuses to cooperate or refuses the chemical test.

Additional Penalties to DUI
  • Up to two (2) extra days in jail
  • A one year suspension of a driver’s license
  • Nine months of required DUI education courses

Avoiding A Cannabis DUI

Ultimately if the arresting officer decides that someone is driving high, they will be going to jail. Since there is no reliable way to measure the effects on the brain it is up to the full discretion of the arresting officer.

Driving High - Driving High: Enforcement & Penalties of Cannabis DUI

The only way to avoid a cannabis DUI is to not drive while consuming, and to not drive while you are impaired. Consume cannabis responsibly – there are too many options available as means of transportation to put your rights, freedoms, and the lives of you and others in jeopardy.

ADA Protection for Cannabis Patients

ADA protection and your cannabis rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights protection prohibiting the discrimination, stigmatization and marginalization of persons with disabilities. The ADA provides us equal opportunity to health care and access whether private or open to the general community.

*Please note this should NOT be considered legal advice*

ADA: What It Means As A Cannabis Patient

Cannabis patients have the legal right to cannabis and to cannabis delivery services in order to meet their health needs. Many patients rely on cannabis delivery due to mobility and complications related to their illness. ADA ensures persons with disabilities entitlements to cannabis including safe access to their medicine from cannabis delivery services like Green Nectar. These entitlements extend to congregation and consumption without discrimination – you cannot be restricted from taking your medicine.

Why ADA Matters

Recently, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department placed orders for medical cannabis delivery in a sting operation. As a result six (6) delivery drivers were arrested.

Medical Cannabis Requirements:
  • Medical Rec from a licensed physician
  • California state ID or driver’s license

The Sheriff’s Department acted against the voters of the state and, most importantly, they violated ADA protections. However, they are not the only ones violating your rights as cannabis patients. Many local municipalities have banned cannabis storefronts and delivery services from operating within their boundaries.

Most Recent Banned Areas of San Diego County

  • El Cajon
  • Chula Vista
  • Carlsbad

ADA cannabis bans

How To Protect San Diego Cannabis Delivery

The easiest way to join the fights is to become a member of the San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance (SDCDA). The SDCDA fights to legitimize cannabis delivery in San Diego County and looks to lift the stigma and bans on cannabis in our communities. Their mission is to advocate for cannabis delivery services to pave a path for state and local licensing for cannabis delivery services.

The next step is to become and advocate for cannabis delivery by calling or writing to your City Council members and County Board of Supervisors. Let them know that you rely on cannabis delivery as a cannabis patient. Ask them to stop infringing on your rights that are protected under ADA law.

To find your elected officials, click here.

Help SDCDA Win the Fight to Keep Delivery Legal

Government agencies in San Diego County and the City of San Diego cannot continue to infringe on your rights to safe and reasonable access to your cannabis as this directly challenges ADA protection. Your elected officials should be stewards of Title II (State and Local Government) and provide pathways to safe access of cannabis for persons with disabilities.

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HIV/AIDS and Cannabis – World AIDS Day 2017

World HIV/AIDS Day

Since 1988 December 1st has marked a pivotal day for our world community. World Aids Day is a day to wipe out the taboo, bring awareness to HIV/AIDS infection, remember those who lost their fight and to take responsibility for knowing our individual status.

Who is affected by HIV/AIDS?

This is NOT a gay issue or an issue with intravenous drug use – HIV does not discriminate – it is a human issue. Although gay and bisexual men remain the most affected, heterosexuals (especially women of color) are the second group most affected by the disease followed by people who inject drugs, and lastly gay men who inject drugs.

HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic, affecting approximately 37 million people worldwide. In the United States, over 1.1 million individuals are living with HIV/AIDS – of those living with HIV or AIDS 1 in 7 are unaware they have been infected. However, there is good news; from 2008 to 2014 there has been an 18% decline in new annual infections in the United States of HIV. How do we continue this decline? Opening up a non-judgmental dialogue frees individuals living with the disease from its stigma.

Cannabis and HIV/AIDS

Cannabis treatment for HIV/AIDS, much like for cancer, has been used to supplement conventional treatment and mitigate the symptoms of those treatments.

How cannabis Aides in HIV/AIDS Treatment
  • Eliminates nausea, vomiting and appetite loss from HIV/AIDS treatment
  • Restores weight and helps to maintain essential nutrients lost
  • Targets neuropathic pain induced by HIV/AIDS therapy.

Some studies have seen that cannabis effectively inhibits HIV and AIDS progression by suppressing pDC cells. Although the research is too early to claim a victory is HIV/AIDS treatment, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

“Living with HIV & How Cannabis Changed My Life”

Anonymous testimonial from a Green Nectar patient living with HIV

As a child I never asked for emotional support or help – I grew up as a child of adoptive services and subsequently grew up in and out of behavioral services. I always felt like I didn’t fit my settings. I grew up in San Diego is an area that was predominantly white and conservative.

I eventually, I ran away from home after coming out and being met with resistance over my sexual orientation. I ended up couch surfing, on the streets, into behavioral services, transitional living, etc. Within this time I was consumed by a lifestyle of unsafe sex and meth or opioid use, which eventually led me to test positive for HIV.

My newly discovered HIV status and a hard look at my life led me to change my life. I turned to cannabis to help with the opioid addiction and I had heard that it was an avenue for treatment for HIV/AIDS. It has provided me with a pathway away from opioid use and has allowed me to thrive despite my HIV status.

This should not be taken as medical advice. If you are considering using cannabis for HIV/AIDS symptom relief, please consult with your healthcare provider or find a cannabis doctor in your area. There is an end to HIV and AIDS. It starts with you.

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KAYA is Expanding: Elevating Your Cannabis Delivery

KAYA is expanding

KAYA is expanding and that’s good news for our Buds! We are extending our operating hours to give you more delivery options and offering two types of levels of service to meet all of your cannabis needs. We promise our professionalism, quality of service and products will continue to be our priority, but now with more marijuana delivery options for you.

KAYA Express

This level of service is our on demand cannabis delivery option. Get your cannabis in under 90 minutes from the time you place your order. Although we would love to offer this to everyone, our North County Buds, because of heavy traffic during parts of the day, are still limited in this level of service. For now we can only guarantee this delivery window to our Buds in the “green zone” – free delivery area.

What to keep in mind for Express Service

  • Under 90 minute delivery for “green zone”
  • $50 minimum order
  • Orders for same-day delivery MUST be placed before 9:45pm


This is our customized mobile dispensary service option. Our trained Medical Marijuana Reps bring our mobile medical cannabis dispensary into the privacy of your own home. This option allows for a private in-home consultation and training on products. Our mobile dispensary has approximately 80% of our products from our online menu. This is ideal for medical marijuana patients who are still new to medicating with cannabis or for patients that want a personalized dispensary experience.

What to keep in mind for Rx Service

  • $100 minimum order
  • Not available for 60-90 minute delivery window
  • FTPs may be required to provide additional verification

KAYA is expanding and this is just the beginning – New hours, improved levels of service, new deals! We are constantly coming up with better ways to serve our community! Stay tuned for more news from KAYA’s expansion. Stay up-to-date and like us on Facebook or sign up for KAYA Bud only deals and offers by texting “KAYA” to 64600!


$5 OFF – BONUS for Orders Scheduled Ahead: For the experienced KAYA Bud – If you know exactly what you want and don’t need immediate delivery of your cannabis, Schedule Ahead is the way to go. Along with being able to schedule your delivery for a given time, we offer $5 off your order if you schedule ahead.