San Francisco is both a city and a county, with a population of 8.4 million as estimated during the 2010 census. A global hub for finance and culture, San Francisco is also a foremost tourist destination, which was the most visited location in the United States in 2011.
San Francisco County’s Marijuana Laws
San Francisco County allows the medical use of marijuana by patients and caregivers are allowed to provide for the needs of such patients. The legality of marijuana cultivation and use is dependent on the issuance of ID cards issued by the San Francisco County Health Department. According to guidelines set in 2005, individual patients may cultivate a maximum of 24 plants and 8 ounces of buds. Grow areas are also limited to a 25 square foot canopy. Collectives are legally allowed to maintain a maximum of 99 plants.
Possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less is decriminalized in San Francisco County, as it is in other California counties. This is considered a civil infraction and merits only a $100 fine. However, the possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense for which the offender may get a 6-month jail term and be required to pay a $500 fine.
As mentioned, cultivation and processing of marijuana in San Francisco County is legally allowed only for patients and caregivers of medical marijuana patients. The unauthorized cultivation and processing of marijuana may result in a 16-month prison sentence.
Prohibition of Marijuana Sales in San Francisco County
San Francisco County is also subject to California marijuana law that prohibits the selling of any amount of marijuana, with the exceptions being legal medical marijuana dispensaries. All other individuals may be charged with felony sale of a controlled substance. The penalty for such a charge is 2 to 4 years in prison, or 3 to 5 years if the marijuana is sold to a minor.