San Mateo County is located in California’s San Francisco Bay Area with San Francisco to the north and Santa Clara County to the south. The county is the location of San Francisco International Airport and part of Silicon Valley, among other notable center of industry and commerce. In the 2010 census, the population of San Mateo County was estimated at about 718,451. The seat of the county is Redwood City, and the community itself is an affluent one comprised of people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. San Mateo County is a predominantly suburban community although there are several urban areas scattered throughout the county.
San Mateo County’s Marijuana Policies
As in nearly all California counties, marijuana possession in small amounts has largely been decriminalized in San Mateo County. The legal limit is 28.5 grams, less than which only a civil infraction will be charged to the offender. This charge carries only a $100 fine. However, possession of marijuana in excess of 28.5 grams is an arrestable offense that may result in a 6-month jail term and a $500 fine.
Under California marijuana law – which applies to San Mateo County residents as well – the cultivation and processing of marijuana is allowed only for authorized medical marijuana patients, caregivers of such patients, and operators of legal marijuana dispensaries. All other individuals found cultivating and processing marijuana do so illegally, and they may be charged with a 16-month prison sentence.
The limit the other amount of marijuana that can be cultivated and processed by medical marijuana patients is 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants and 8 ounces of bud. This is also the amount that is legally allowable for caregivers for every patient under their care. Patients will have to secure a state-issued marijuana ID card.
The sale of marijuana in San Mateo County is also illegal under California law, warranting a 2- to 4-year prison sentence, which is increased to 3 to 5 years if the marijuana is sold to a minor.