Generally, for the State of California, California Health and Safety Code section 11362.77(a) states that a qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana per qualified patient. In addition, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more than six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants per qualified patient.

But, these limitations can be exceeded, pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11362.77(b), which states that  If a qualified patient or primary caregiver has a doctor’s recommendation that this quantity does not meet the qualified patient’s medical needs, the qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess an amount of marijuana consistent with the patient’s needs.

In determining the actual weight of marijuana possessed, Health and Safety Code section 11362.77(d) provides that guidance:   Only the dried mature processed flowers of female cannabis plant or the plant conversion shall be considered when determining allowable quantities of marijuana under this section.

Last, the California Legislature permits local counties and cities to issue their own specific regulations.  Health and Safety Code section 11362.77(c) states that, “Counties and cities may retain or enact medical marijuana guidelines allowing qualified patients or primary caregivers to exceed the state limits set forth in subdivision (a).”  As a result, specific locals within California have addressed medical marijuana guidelines in local laws and ordinances.  Some of those, for each county listed, are the following:

Amador:  On 11/28/11, Amador county supervisors approved a 45-day ban outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana and directed staff to come up with regulations to address impacts of outdoor grows.
Anderson:  On February 18, 2011, an ordinance took effect in Anderson that prohibits cultivation either inside a dwelling or in an outdoor garden, limits the growing, harvesting and processing of medical marijuana to a 50-square-foot outbuilding that is built to city, state and federal codes, is protected by an audible alarm system, and contains electrical, plumbing and ventilation. A suit was filed against the Anderson ordinance on April 15, 2011.

Arcata:  City Council passed  a law  in November, 2008, allowing no more than 50 square feet for cultivation.   Dispensaries are prohibited from using more than 25% of their property for cultivation and patients must grow in their own homes. Those with special needs may request more grow space.

Berkeley:   Berkeley voters a law in 2008, repealed Berkeley’s plant and possession limits. Outdoor gardens that are observable are limited to 10 plants.  Quantities of possessed marijuana are lawful so long as the marijuana possessed is for medical purposes.

Butte Co.:   The Butte County District Attorney’s Office states it’s view that patients may possess no more than 6 mature or 12 immature plants, nor more than 1 pound f dried marijuana.

Chico:  The Chico Municipal Code allows outdoor, residential cultivation of 50 square feet per parcel, regardless of the number of patients. Plants must be enclosed, screened, and 5 feet from the property line. Indoor cultivation (under 50 square feet and 1200 watts) can take place only with a permit stating outdoor is not possible and the building owner approves.  All marijuana grown must be for personal use only.

Corning:  The city of Corning prohibits cultivation outdoors or in a residential structure. Gardens must be located in a secure detached structure in the rear yard only, removed ten feet from the property line and with a six foot solid fence and with a mechanical ventilation system and security system approved by a Building Official or the Police Dept.

Dunsmuir:  The City of Dunsmuir disallows outdoor cultivation, and requires anyone growing for more than one person to submit an affidavit to the city manager. A maximum of 100 square feet may be grown per patient, not to exceed three patients per parcel. Patients must live on the property, and growing must take place in a garage.

El Dorado Co.:  On 11/15/2011, the El Dorado board of supervisors voted for a 45-day moratorium against new dispensaries and outdoor cultivation. On Dec. 20, the ordinance was extended for 10 months, through Nov. 12, 2012, but amended to allow for patients to grow what is reasonable for their condition while they work on a more permanent law.

Elk Grove:  Medical marijuana cultivation outdoors or in a greenhouse is unlawful, and is allowed only inside a home or in a detached building outside. In the detached building, the grow area may be no more than 120 square feet. A 6-foot backyard fence must surround the site. Inside a home, medical marijuana can be grown in a 50-square-foot area, excluding the bathroom, kitchen or bedroom. Grow lights cannot exceed 1,200 watts; and use of gas products is prohibited.

Cultivation is barred within 1,000 feet of any school, child care center or public park, and the growing area may not be accessible to anyone 17 or younger. A ventilation and filtration system approved by the city’s building official must be installed. A security system is required and also must be approved by the building official or police chief. A cultivation permit is required, good for two years, and the application for that must include the notarized signature of the property owner.

Eureka:  Personal cultivation within 50 square feet in area and 10 feet in height, or up to 100 feet with an Exemption Request, only in a residence, is permitted. Processing area cannot exceed 20 square feet. Also regulates dispensaries, delivery services, and labs.

Ft. Bragg:   Cultivation is permitted in an area up to 100 sq. feet, indoors

Fresno city:   A permanent ban on cultivation and dispensaries is expected to be considered in April.

Fresno county:  Fresno County unanimously passed a law to ban dispensaries and sharply restrict cultivation. It requires a “Medical MJ Cultivation Business License” for anyone seeking to grow in the county. Cultivation can only occur only in a secure, locked, enclosed structure in industrial zoning districts if 1,000 feet from any school, park, recreation area, sports facility, adult business, church, etc;  there is  a maximum of 99 plants is 99.  

Gridley:   The city of Gridley has banned outdoor cultivation.

Humboldt Co.:   Humboldt county limits indoor gardens to 50 square feet per parcel, and 1200 watts, regardless of the number of patients.

Outdoors, patients are permitted 100 square feet and 3 lbs w/ no plant number limit.

Both indoors and out, the Cities of Fortuna and Eureka enforce SB 420 limits (6 mature/12 immature plants, 1/2 lb). 

Imperial Beach:   On July 7, 2011, with a 4 to 1 vote, the Imperial Beach City Council approved an ordinance banning collective cultivation of medical marijuana within city limits including in the private homes of qualified patients.

Kern County:   Kern County citizens successfully gathered enough signatures to block an ordinance the Board of Supervisors passed on August 9 to limit collective membership to 3 members, and outlaw outdoor cultivation and edibles. In addition, a second emergency ordinance, taking effect immediately, disallows more than 12 plants per parcel.

Lassen County:   Dispensaries and outdoor cultivation are prohibited.

Mendocino Co.:  25 plant maximum. The sheriff’s office still offers voluntary zip-tie permits for about $25 apiece.

Moraga:  Outdoor cultivation is permitted; indoor is allowed only if not visible.

Nevada Co.:  Cultivation: 6 mature female plants or 75 square feet of plant canopy. Possession: 2 lbs processed marijuana – consistent with patient’s recommendation.

Oakland:  Indoors – 72 plants in maximum 32 sq. ft growing area. Outdoors – 20 plants, no area limit. Weight limit 3 lbs dried marijuana per patient. Collective gardens limited to 3 patients. Dispensaries serving four or more patients are allowed max. 6 mature and 12 immature plants and 1/2 pound per patient. 

Redding:  Medical marijuana gardens are limited to a maximum of 100 square feet of canopy or 10% of home or garden area.

Rocklin:  Cultivation limited to 50 square feet and ten feet in height per residence only within an enclosed structure. Marijuana cultivation lighting cannot exceed 1200 watts, and the authorized grower must reside in the residence where the marijuana cultivation occurs. Other building and fire codes, issues of privacy, noise, odor, etc. must be observed. With documentation of a second patient living on the premises, up to 100 square feet can be grown. Penalty for violation is $500/day.

Sacramento County:  A County ordinance makes unlawful anything that is federally illegal.

San Bernardino County:   Outdoor cultivation in unincorporated areas of San Bernardino in illegal.

City of San Diego:   Up to 1 lb of marijuana, 24 plants in 64 square feet indoors; no outdoors growing allowed except in enclosed greenhouses.

San Francisco:    Permits up to 24 plants or 25 square feet of canopy; dispensary gardens capped at 99 plants in 100 square feet. Possession limit 8 oz. dried cannabis per patient. 

Santa Cruz:  100 sq.ft. canopy and up to 99 plants is allowable  for a patient or a lawful  caregiver.

Sebastopol:   Patients and caregivers may grow up to 30 plants within 100 square feet at their homes. Under the ordinance, patients and caregivers can possess up to 3 lbs. at the garden site. It also allows two secured 750 square-foot gardens for dispensing collectives, and two more for non-dispensing patients and caregivers.

Shasta County:  Growing inside residences is unlawful, but is permissible in detached accessory structures and sets limits for outdoor growing regardless of how many patients live at a residence.

Residents with less than an acre may not grow more than 60 square feet of marijuana, while those living on more than 1 but less than 2 acres could grow up to 100 square feet. Those with 2-5 acres can grow 150 square feet and people living on 5-20 acres grow 240 square feet of pot. Those with 20 acres or more are limited to 360 square feet of plants.

Gardens must meet minimum setbacks from parcel lines and adjacent residences. The growth ordinance also sets a 1,000-foot “no-grow” zone between cultivation sites and “sensitive areas,” such as schools, youth organizations, school bus stops or churches.

Shasta Lake:   Growing permitted only in residential or mixed-used zoning districts, while it would be banned in commercial and industrial districts. The ordinance allows for growing up to 100 square feet inside a garage or adjacent building, but not inside the home.

Outdoor growing is limited to 25 square feet on a half-acre parcel, 60 square feet on a parcel between half-acre and one acre and 240 square feet on parcels larger than one acre. Outdoor grows must also be enclosed in a 6-foot high, non-climbable fence with a locking gate. Chain-link fences are not allowed, according to the ordinance.

Sonoma Co.:  Guidelines permit 3 lbs for possession; maximum 100 square feet cultivation area with 30 plants or fewer (approved Sept 2006). In 2011, the BOS has commissioned a study to recommend options for cultivation regulations. On January 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM the Planning Commission is holding a meeting with an opportunity for input by locals at at 2550 Ventura Ave. (at Administrative Drive).

South Lake Tahoe:   The City of South Lake Tahoe passed an ordinance “to require that medical marijuana be cultivated in appropriately secured, enclosed, and ventilated structures” in permitted residential structures only; “in compliance with the maximum dimensions permissible for the cultivation of medical marijuana” within 10% of the total residence square footage. Fines for violations start at $100/day and escalate to $500 with repeat offenses.

Tulare Co.:  The local code requires that marijuana be grown “within a secure, locked, and fully enclosed structure” whose exterior is “compatible with the exterior appearance of structures already constructed or under construction within the immediate area” and has an alarm system and exterior lighting. Collectives may grow up to 99 plants within proper zoning; otherwise up to 24 plants at 6 mature or 12 immature plants per patient for only 2 patients. Patients may smoke “only entirely within a private residence or on the premises of a private residence but out of public view.” Violations are criminal misdemeanors.