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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Marijuana

General information

Revised 11/15/2016

As San Mateo County obtains new information about how this new industry will be incorporated locally and by the state, updates will be posted on this webpage. Please also check the links provided below for the latest information available. 

1. What happens after passing of Proposition 64?

Personal recreational use: Adults 21 years or above will be able to use recreational marijuana and grow marijuana for personal use immediately.

Commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing or sales operations: Requires a license from the State Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, which is planning to begin accepting applications January 1, 2018.  A license from the state is required before any commercial cultivation, manufacturing or sales are allowed.

Please see detailed information regarding Proposition 64 here.

2. Who will issue licenses for marijuana businesses?

3. Does my city or county allow growing and selling of marijuana or manufacturing products with marijuana?

Proposition 64 gives cities and counties the option to either allow or restrict marijuana businesses. Please contact your local city (or county, if in the unincorporated area) directly to verify what the current local policies are on marijuana businesses. Details are currently being developed by cities and counties, with most planning to finalize any local requirements by January 1, 2018. If commercial operations are allowed locally, a license will also be required by the appropriate state agency (see above).

4. If my city/county doesn’t allow the growing and selling of marijuana, can I buy marijuana from another city/county?

Yes. Under Proposition 64, adults 21 years and older can buy marijuana from a licensed facility.

5. Do I need a license to grow marijuana for personal use?

No. Proposition 64 allows individuals to grow marijuana for personal use (up to six plants) without a license. However, your city or county may have additional restrictions and/or requirements. Periodically check your city’s or county’s website for any restrictions or additional requirements.

6. Can I sell homegrown marijuana plants or marijuana products to others?

No. Proposition 64 does not allow the sale of homegrown marijuana, whether whole plant, clippings, clones, or any product derived from any part of the plant.

7. What should I do if I am staying at an apartment complex or hotel and I smell marijuana from my neighbor’s unit?

Proposition 64 does not allow smoking marijuana in locations where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Contact the management company or the owner for any concerns related to marijuana use at the property.

8. What should I do if I smell marijuana from my neighbor’s house?

You may contact the local law enforcement agency or code enforcement agency for questions or concerns regarding marijuana use at private homes.

9. Who do I contact if I have other questions about marijuana?

You can contact San Mateo County Environmental Health Services at or contact your local city.  Remember that cities, counties and the state departments in charge of implementing Prop 64 and other marijuana-related legislation are still looking for answers and setting up programs to support this new industry and the community. Continue to check websites for updates.

10. Can I smoke marijuana or consume marijuana products while driving?

No. Proposition 64 prohibits driving under the influence of marijuana. It also prohibits smoking or ingesting marijuana, or even possessing an open container or package of marijuana, while driving or riding in a motor vehicle.

11. Can I smoke marijuana or consume marijuana products in public places?

No. Proposition 64 does not allow smoking or ingesting marijuana in public places, which includes but is not limited to hallways and lobbies of apartment buildings and hotels, on the street, in schools, amusement parks, public parks and places of business usually open to the general public.

12. Where can I buy marijuana for recreational use?

Currently there are no retail or manufacturing business that have been approved for selling recreational marijuana in San Mateo County. However, if you are a California resident with a Medical Marijuana Card, you can purchase marijuana at any licensed dispensary in California.

13. How much marijuana can I buy for recreational use?

Under Proposition 64, adults 21 years and older can possess, transport, or purchase up to one (1) ounce of marijuana and up to eight (8) grams of marijuana concentrates.