Kern County is located in the Central Valley of California’s southern section. Spanning more than 8,100 square miles, the county is bordered by the southern Coast Ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert to the east. In the 2010 census, Kern County’s population was estimated at just over 839,600, making it the eleventh most heavily populated counties in California. The seat of Kern County is Bakersfield, and like most counties in California, its economy is largely driven by the agriculture sector.
Kern County’s Marijuana Laws
Like many counties in California, the possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana in Kern County is largely governed by state laws. Among other stipulates, these laws limit the ownership of marijuana to legal medical marijuana patients and caregivers in amounts not exceeding 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants and 8 ounces of bud.
In Kern County, possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less merits only a civil infraction, with no jail time and only a $100 fine. However, possession in excess of this amount is a criminal offense that carries a possible six-month jail term along with a $500 fine.
The cultivation and processing of marijuana in Kern County is also regulated by California state laws. Under these laws, only patients approved for medical marijuana use and their caregivers are allowed to cultivate and process marijuana. Outside of this group, offenders may be liable for a sixteen-month prison term.
Marijuana sale is also prohibited under California law, which means that residents of Kern County are subject to these laws as well. Selling any amount of marijuana in California is a felony offense punishable by a 2- to 4-year prison term. Individuals found guilty of the sale of marijuana to a minor may be sentenced to a 3- to 5-year prison term if found guilty.