Since 2016, California law makes it legal to have a small amount of concentrated cannabis (marijuana resin or hash) for adults 21 and older. However, if you have more than 4 grams or you are not 21, it remains illegal—and it can carry jail time. This is true even if you were not selling the concentrate and even if it is your first offense. If you or someone you love has been arrested, do not take chances with this law—you need to talk to a Los Angeles concentrated cannabis lawyer.
The Simmrin Law Group can help. We do not believe California’s marijuana laws are fair, even with the partial “decriminalization” the state has experienced. Whether you broke the law by accident, knew what you were doing, or did not actually have concentrated cannabis at all—we’re here for you. We will listen to you, take your side and help you fight the charge. Let us give you a free consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
What is concentrated cannabis?
Not all marijuana-derived products count as concentrated cannabis. Concentrated cannabis is a resin which has been separated from marijuana plants, essentially delivering a much more intense amount of THC (marijuana’s active ingredient). It can take the form of a liquid, a “goo” (semisolid) or shaped into solid, waxy bricks. Common street knowledge is that imported concentrated cannabis will be in bricks while the local or “homemade” version will be more of a liquid. This is a general rule, but not true in all cases.
Concentrated cannabis goes by a number of names, including:
Hash, hash oil or hashish
Wax or “earwax”
It may also be called BHO or butane hash oil, referring to one way in which it can be produced.
Concentrated cannabis typically includes the kind of marijuana product used in vaping.
Why is concentrated cannabis still illegal in Los Angeles?
Hash oil remains highly regulated because it delivers such a concentrated dose of THC. A relatively small amount of resin can produce much stronger highs than leaf marijuana, and large doses can be dangerous.
Originally, possessing concentrated cannabis in any amount was illegal under a state law known as HS 11357. However, that changed in November 2016, when Californians voted to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use (Proposition 64). This led to an amended set of laws that allows small amounts of concentrated cannabis following very strict rules:
You must be 21 or older
The amount you possess must be 4 grams or less
You cannot sell it or give it away—it is for personal use only
You cannot import/export it or take it across state lines
However, concentrated cannabis was already legal for use for medical marijuana patients, and those laws have also been preserved. If you use concentrated cannabis for medical purposes, you are allowed to possess more than the 4 gram limit, but only if it is necessary to treat a serious medical condition. (This also applies to anyone who is a primary caregiver for someone using medical marijuana.) Even though state law allows this, police often take an “arrest them all” attitude to people with more than 4 grams. It is up to you to prove that you had a valid medical reason to have more, typically with a written recommendation from a doctor.
Am I allowed to produce my own concentrated cannabis?
It depends. Legally, you are allowed to produce your own concentrated cannabis (for personal use only) through several methods:
Dissolving it in butter or another lipid that is not a chemical process
However, if you use any kind of chemical process to extract the resin, it is illegal. This is because of California’s drug manufacturing laws. In fact, since cannabis remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance, using any kind of chemical extraction on marijuana is a felony.
What are the penalties for possessing concentrated cannabis Los Angeles?
It depends on the circumstances:
Possessing more than 4 grams is usually a misdemeanor carrying 6 months in jail and up to $500 in fines
Possession with the intent to sell (without a license) is also usually a misdemeanor and also carries up to 6 months in jail. However, it can become a felony with much longer sentences if you have a criminal record or intended to sell to someone under 18.
Unlawful transportation or sale carries the same penalties as intent to sell, and can become a felony for the same reasons.
Unlawful production of concentrated cannabis is more serious:
Producing more than 4 grams using many methods is a misdemeanor with the same 6 month sentence. However—
Producing any amount using butane (or any chemical process) is a felony with up to $50,000 in fines and up to 7 years in state prison
Can I get drug treatment instead of jail time?
Possibly. If it is your first or second concentrated cannabis offense, and you are a nonviolent offender, you may be able to have your jail time waived as long as you complete drug treatment. This requires pleading guilty, and it’s very important to have a lawyer help you. In many cases, it may be possible to win your case with no jail time or drug treatment—and no conviction at all—with a good lawyer.
Talk to a Los Angeles Concentrated Cannabis Lawyer for Free
Lots of people use concentrated cannabis, but a single arrest can affect your freedom, your career and your future. Don’t let a simple marijuana charge ruin your life. The Simmrin Law Group will give you a FREE consultation—and help you defend yourself. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.