With the recent bust of Tainted, there's been a lot of talk about medical marijuana edibles. One of our favorite sitesAmericans for Safe Access has a monthly Legal Tip for California residents. The Legal Tip for June was about edibles so I thought I'd share it.
Medical Marijuana Edibles and the Law
Americans for Safe Access has received many reports from patients and dispensaries that law enforcement considers edible medical marijuana products to be illegal. Unfortunately, this is an incorrect interpretation of the law. California Health & Safety Code Section 11018 defines "marijuana" as "all parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin." (emphasis added.) In 2003, in order to clear up confusion around the legality of concentrated cannabis, the California Attorney General (AG) issued a legal opinion on the matter. The AG concluded that Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, included concentrated cannabis within the definition of marijuana, and that patients and providers should be protected from criminal sanctions.
In addition, with the passage of SB 420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act, by the California legislature, patients and caregivers are explicitly protected from criminal liability. One of the criminal statutes exempted in SB 420 for patients and caregivers, Health & Safety Code Section 11357, includes reference to concentrated cannabis. Problematic interactions with law enforcement may not be avoidable, but things to can do to lessen that likelihood include ensuring all edibles in your possession are well wrapped and clearly labeled "for medical use." If you produce edibles yourself, ensure that: a) the ingredients and finished product are out-of-reach of children and people who are neither patients not caregivers; b) the facility and tools used to produce the edibles are clean and sanitary (consider compliance with local and/or state clean room requirements); and c) the packaging of edibles does not violate copyright laws nor unduly attract the attention of youth.
You should check out the Legal Tip of the Month and stay informed!