As of September 2021, 19 states plus the District of Columbia permit the possession and use of marijuana for any purpose. Marijuana possession is not, however, permitted without limits. Severe penalties are still in place for persons found with amounts of marijuana that exceed state-legal limits.

Each state has its own cannabis laws in place that determine the maximum amount of marijuana that an adult can legally possess. The penalties for exceeding these amounts also vary from state to state. What’s more, cannabis possession limits often differ for medical marijuana patients and for marijuana stored at home.

With such differences in mind, here’s a state-by-state guide to marijuana possession limits in states that legalized cannabis.

Alaska

Adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six marijuana plants (only three of which can be mature) at a private residence for personal use.

Possession of between one and four ounces of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000. If possession of such amounts is for personal use and takes place at the person’s residence, there is no penalty under Alaska’s constitutional right to privacy.

Possessing four or more ounces of cannabis is a Class C felony in Alaska, subject to up to five years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. Cannabis possession of any amount within 500 feet of a school, recreation or youth center, or on a school bus, is also a Class C felony, subject to the same penalties. But if such violations take place within a person’s home, there is no charge.

Arizona

Adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants for personal use in a private residence in Arizona. Medical marijuana patients may possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis per 14-day period.

Possession of between one and two and a half ounces for recreational users is a petty offense punishable by a maximum fine of $300.

Possession for personal use of between two and a half ounces and two pounds of cannabis is a Class 6 felony, subject to a minimum of six months in jail and a maximum of 18 months in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

Possession for personal use of between two and four pounds of cannabis is a Class 5 felony, subject to a minimum nine months in jail and a maximum two years in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

Possession for personal use of more than four pounds of cannabis is a Class 4 felony, subject to a minimum 18 months and a maximum three years in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

For all these felony offenses, however, the offender may instead be granted probation upon which they will face a minimum of 24 hours of community service.

California

California marijuana possession laws allow adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower and eight grams of concentrates. Medical marijuana patients may possess whatever amount is “consistent with the patient’s needs.”

Possession of more than one ounce of cannabis for personal use is a misdemeanor, subject to up to a maximum of six months in jail and/or a fine up to $500.

Possession of less than one ounce on school grounds by an adult is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. For offenders less than 18 years old, this is a misdemeanor subject to a fine up to $250 for a first offense, rising to $500 or commitment to a detention center for 10 days upon a second offense.

Colorado

Adults, whether recreational users or medical marijuana patients, are permitted to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower or concentrates in Colorado.

Possession of more than two ounces is a petty offense, subject to a maximum fine of $100.

Possession of more than two to six ounces of cannabis is a level 1 drug misdemeanor, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $700.

Possession of more than six to 12 ounces is a level 1 drug misdemeanor, subject to a maximum 18 months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Possession of more than 12 ounces is considered a level 4 drug felony, subject to between six months in jail and two years in prison, in addition to a maximum fine of $100,000.

Connecticut

Adults in Connecticut are permitted to possess up to one and a half ounces of marijuana flower, or its equivalent in concentrates, in public and up to five ounces at home. Medical marijuana patients may possess up to two and a half ounces.

Possession of any amount of cannabis within 1,500 feet of a school or daycare center, providing it is not the individual’s private residence, is punishable by a jail term and probation with community service.

Possession of more than one and a half ounces is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of $2,000. Offenders under 21 years of age will not face jail time, but those between 18 and 20 could face civil penalties.

Upon a second offense, the individual may suspend a jail sentence in favor of a drug abuse treatment program. For subsequent offenses, the individual may be sentenced as a persistent offender.

District of Columbia

Adults in D.C., whether recreational users or medical marijuana patients, are permitted to possess up to two ounces of cannabis.

Possession of more than two ounces is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum of six months in jail and fine of $1,000, or a probation term of up to one year for a first offense.

Illinois

Adult Illinois residents are permitted to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, five grams of concentrates and up to 500 mg of THC in an infused product. A non-resident adult may only possess half these amounts. Medical marijuana patients may possess up to 70 grams per 14-day period.

Possession of between 30 to 100 grams of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $2,500 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses are a Class 4 felony, subject to a minimum one year in jail and a maximum three years in prison, in addition to a maximum fine of $25,000.

Possession of between 100 and 500 grams is a Class 4 felony, subject to a minimum one year in jail and a maximum three years in prison, in addition to a maximum fine of $25,000.

Maine

Adults in Maine, whether recreational users or medical marijuana patients, are permitted to possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis flower and up to five grams of marijuana concentrate.

Possession of between two and a half and eight ounces of cannabis is a Class E crime, subject to a maximum six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Possession of between eight and 16 ounces of cannabis is a Class D crime, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $2,000.

Possession of between one and 20 pounds of cannabis is a Class C crime, subject to a maximum five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower and 5 grams of concentrates in public, and up to 10 ounces at home in addition to the flower produced by six plants. Amounts greater than one ounce must be secured with a lock.

Medical marijuana patients may possess two month’s supply as prescribed, up to a maximum of ten ounces of cannabis.

Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum six months in jail and a $500 fine. First offenders will, however, likely face probation instead and any records of the offense will be sealed once the term is successfully completed.

Subsequent offenders may face up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000.

Michigan

Cannabis possession laws in Michigan allow adults, whether recreational users or medical marijuana patients, to possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis in public, of which up to 15 grams may be concentrates.

At home, adults may possess up to ten ounces of cannabis, as well as the marijuana produced by up to 12 plants. Adults in possession of more than two and a half ounces of cannabis at home must secure it in a container.

For first-time offenders, possession of between two and a half and five ounces of marijuana is a civil infraction, punishable by a maximum fine of $500.

Possession of more than five ounces is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $500.

Possession within 1,000 feet of a park may be a felony or misdemeanor offense, at the judge’s discretion, and is subject to a maximum two years in prison and a fine of $2,000.

Montana

Montana adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to two plants and two seedlings, at a maximum of four plants and four seedlings per household. Medical marijuana patients are subject to the same possession limits but may cultivate four mature plants and four seedlings.

Possession of between one and two ounces of cannabis is a civil infraction, subject to either a fine of $200 or four hours community service. For second offenders, this increases to a $300 fine or six hours community service.

Possession of more than two ounces is a felony offense, subject to a maximum five years in prison and a $45,000 fine.

Nevada

In Nevada, adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower and 3.5 grams of concentrates. If the individual lives more than 25 miles away from a cannabis retailer, they are permitted to grow up to six plants at home for personal use.

Medical marijuana patients may possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis, while those who live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary may cultivate up to 12 plants.

Possession of more than one ounce is a criminal misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $600.

Minors in possession of less than one ounce of cannabis may face misdemeanor charges, subject to community service. The record of this will be sealed upon completion.

New Jersey

Adults, whether recreational users or medical marijuana patients, are permitted to possess up to six ounces of cannabis in New Jersey.

Possession of more than six ounces of cannabis is a fourth degree crime, subject to a maximum 18 months in prison and a fine of $2,500.

Possession within 1,000 feet of a school incurs a further sentence of 100 hours community service, as well as a fine depending on the quantity of marijuana involved.

New Mexico

Adults are permitted to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower and 16 grams of marijuana extract in New Mexico, while for medical marijuana patients the limit is eight ounces over a three-month period.

Additionally, recreational users may grow up to six plants for personal use. For medical marijuana patients, it’s permitted to cultivate 16 plants, though only four of these may be mature.

Possession between two and eight ounces of cannabis is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 and one year in jail.

Possession of more than eight ounces of cannabis is a fourth-degree felony, subject to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

New York

Adults are permitted to possess up to three ounces of marijuana flower and up to 24 grams of concentrates under New York cannabis possession laws. Medical marijuana patients may possess up to a 60-day supply as per a physician’s recommendation.

Possession of between three and eight ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Possession of between eight and 16 ounces of marijuana is a Class E felony, subject to a maximum four years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Possession of between sixteen ounces and 10 pounds is a Class D felony, subject to a maximum seven years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Oregon

Oregon allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis in public, but eight ounces of homegrown marijuana in a private residence.

Medical marijuana patients are permitted to possess up to 24 ounces of marijuana.

Public possession by recreational users of between one and two ounces of cannabis is a Class B violation, subject to a maximum fine of $1,000.

Possession of between two and four ounces of cannabis is a Class B misdemeanor, subject to a maximum six months in jail and a fine of $2,500. Possession of between one and two pounds of cannabis at home is subject to the same penalties.

Possession of more than four ounces of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $6,250. Possession of more than two pounds at home is subject to the same penalties.

South Dakota

Adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes in South Dakota. Medical marijuana patients may possess up to three ounces of cannabis.

Possession of between one and two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $2,000.

Possession of between two ounces and half a pound of marijuana is a Class 6 felony offense, subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $4,000.

Possession of between half a pound and one pound of cannabis is Class 5 felony offense, subject to a maximum five years in prison and a fine of $20,000.

Possession of between one and ten pounds of cannabis is a Class 4 felony offense, subject to a maximum 15 years in prison and a fine of $30,000.

Vermont

Adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis in Vermont. Medical marijuana patients are permitted to possess up to two ounces.

Possession of between one and two ounces is a civil penalty that may be deferred for first-time offenders.

Possession of between two ounces and one pound is a felony offense, subject to a maximum three years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

Possession of more than 10 pounds is a felony offense, subject to a maximum 15 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

Virginia

Adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis in public in Virginia.

Medical marijuana patients may possess up to four ounces per 30-day period.

Possession of more than one ounce of cannabis is a civil violation, subject to a maximum fine of $25 without the possibility of arrest or a criminal record.

Washington

In Washington, adults are permitted to possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower as well as 16 ounces of marijuana-infused solid products and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid products.

Medical marijuana patients may possess up to three ounces of cannabis flower, 48 ounces of marijuana-infused solid products and 216 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid products.

Possession of between one ounce and 40 grams is a misdemeanor, subject to a minimum 24 hours and maximum 90 days in jail. A first offense also incurs a $250 fine, while subsequent violations are subject to a $500 fine.

Possession of more than 40 grams is a Class C felony offense, subject to a maximum five years in jail and a fine of $10,000.

 

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