Marijuana Cultivation Law
California Health and Safety Code 11358 criminalizes all acts associated with cultivating marijuana unless the grower has a license to cultivate it for medical purposes. Prohibited acts include:
● Handling and planting the seeds
● Growing / cultivating them
● Harvesting and processing the marijuana
The assumption is that anyone who grows more than one or two plants intends to sell marijuana, so charges arising from a violation of HS 11358 can also lead to ‘companion’ charges under HS 11359, (marijuana possession with intent to sell), which is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Only those with Medical Marijuana ID cards issued by the state may cultivate marijuana for medical use, which means that if an ill person acting under a doctor’s recommendation is found with any amount of marijuana and does not yet possess a ‘cannabis card’, they can be charged.
Under Health and Safety Code 11358, cultivating marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Unlike California state law, federal law does not recognize medical marijuana as legal. Even if a person has been authorized by the state to grow marijuana, they can still be arrested by federal law enforcement agents, tried in a government courtroom, and imprisoned. Federal law also does not qualify marijuana possession by amount. Even a single plant or cigarette can result in up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offender. A second offense is punishable by a mandatory 15-day sentence that can be extended to two years. Additional offenses draw a penalty of 90 days to three years in prison, plus a $5,000 fine.
Being under the influence of a controlled substance, DUI of marijuana, marijuana possession for personal use, possessing drug paraphernalia, possession for sale of marijuana, sale or transportation of marijuana
California felony offenses involving marijuana can potentially result in long prison terms and large fines. At the federal level, a person faces similar punishment even if they were authorized by the state to grow marijuana for medical purposes. Anyone facing charges in state or federal court must contact a Los Angeles criminal lawyer immediately to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the court process.
Defenses to marijuana cultivation charges include proof that the marijuana cultivation was legal under California's Medical Marijuana laws, failure to prove that the defendant cultivated the marijuana or cultivated it for sale, and illegal search and seizure
In June 2014 Yong Fa Jiang, 60, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana. Police confiscated more than 400 plants from his Arcadia home after a raid inspired by the presence of a ‘suspicious vehicle’ outside Jiang’s house on South Sixth Avenue. Inside, officers found several rooms with plants, specialized lighting, ventilation, and electrical wiring.
Jiang was released from custody after posting $10,000 bail.