Jan. 1 is almost here. Here’s how to (legally) buy and use recreational pot in Berkeley

Rashad Sisemore/File

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Berkeley’s been blazing a trail for legalized cannabis use for decades, and now — with the passage of Proposition 64 last year — residents will soon be able to buy and use marijuana recreationally in the city.  

Got questions? We’ve got answers:

Can I buy weed without a medical card in Berkeley?

Yes, starting Jan. 1, those 21 years and older can buy cannabis for recreational use at authorized dispensaries and pot shops in Berkeley.

How old do I have to be?

You must be 21 years or older to buy recreational marijuana under Prop. 64. Those less than 21 years old are also not allowed to enter marijuana dispensaries. If you are under 21, you can still buy and use medical marijuana.

Where can you buy recreational marijuana in Berkeley?

In Berkeley, there are three medicinal marijuana dispensaries that will be allowed to sell recreational marijuana Jan. 1, according to temporary rules that have been passed by the city. They are:

  • Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective
    2590 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley
  • Berkeley Patients Group
    2366 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley
  • Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley
    3033 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Can I use my credit card to buy weed? 

No, you must use cash. Since the sale of marijuana is against federal law, banks generally do not deal with these transactions.

How much weed can I buy?

You can buy 1 ounce of recreational marijuana per day.

How much weed can I possess?

You can have up to 1 ounce on your person or 8 grams of concentrate, such as oil or hash. You can also have up to six marijuana plants growing in your house for personal use.

Can I order my weed online/get my weed delivered?

Generally, yes. Berkeley Patients Group and Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley both offer (and at times, encourage) online ordering and pickup to get ahead of lines.

Online delivery services such as Eaze will start offering recreational deliveries to Berkeley residents starting Jan. 1, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. You must be 21 years and older, and the driver will ask you to show a valid, government-issued ID verifying your identity and age. Deliveries under $50 will have a $5 delivery fee.

Where can I use my weed?

You’ll have to use your cannabis at home — smoking or using cannabis in public is prohibited under Prop. 64. Driving a car while impaired by marijuana is also prohibited.

Berkeley municipal code on marijuana policy, however, directs City Council to ensure “that the Berkeley Police Department gives lowest priority to the enforcement of marijuana laws.”


Berkeley Patients Group, located at 2366 San Pablo Ave., is the oldest continuously operating dispensary in the United States. Sonia Brin/File

Can I sell my weed to others?

Without a state license, you will not be allowed to sell cannabis. Most municipalities require additional local licenses and permits. Selling pot without a license can lead to a misdemeanor charge with penalties of up to six months of jail time and $500 in fines, according to the Los Angeles Times.

However, if you’re 21 and older, you can gift up to one ounce of cannabis flowers to others 21 and older.


How much is my weed being taxed?

In Berkeley, there is a 10 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis and a 2.5 percent sales tax on medicinal cannabis.

Where else can I buy weed?

Though Prop. 64 gave local municipalities in California the option to allow recreational marijuana sales, only a few dozen cities and counties such as Berkeley have decided to do so and created the necessary regulations.

In the Bay Area, you will be able to buy recreational cannabis in Oakland and Richmond starting Jan. 1. You will not be able to buy recreational cannabis in San Francisco.  

Can I take my weed outside California?

No. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a controlled substance (like heroin and LSD), meaning that transporting weed across state lines is prohibited. Besides California, recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.

Update 01/01/17: This article has been updated to include additional tips for legally buying adult-use marijuana starting Jan. 1. 

Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ayoonhendricks.