San Benito County is located in California’s Coast Range Mountains, with San Jose to the north. According to the 2010 census, the county had a population of about 55,269. Almost two-thirds of its population resides in Hollister, which also serves as the seat of San Benito County.
Possession of Marijuana
As part of California, San Benito County is governed by state laws that regulate the possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana. California has largely decriminalized possession of marijuana in small amounts, and this policy applies to residents of San Benito County as well. Possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less is only considered a civil infraction, for which the only penalty is a $100 fine. However, possession of marijuana in amounts exceeding 28.5 grams is an arrestable offense, with the offender facing a potential 6-month jail term and a $500 fine.
San Benito County does allow certain individuals to cultivate and process marijuana in limited amounts. This applies to patients that have been prescribed medical marijuana by a doctor and have secured a state-issued medical marijuana ID card. These patients are legally allowed to cultivate and process as much as 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants and 8 ounces of bud. This law applies to caregivers of medical marijuana patients as well, with the same amount being allowable for every patient in the caregiver’s care. If found guilty, people found to have cultivated and processed marijuana illegally are liable to face a 16-month prison term.
San Benito County is also subject to California laws that forbid the sale of marijuana in any amount except by legal dispensaries. This is considered a felony offense in the county, and offenders face a possible 2- to 4-year or 3- to 5-year prison sentence if found guilty of selling marijuana to a minor. If the offender is younger than 21, his or her driver’s license may also be suspended for a year.