How Tourists Can Buy Legal Cannabis in California

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Modesto, Merced, Atwater, Fresno and the Central Valley

It’s legal for anyone over 21 to buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary in California. In fact, it has been since 2018(1). Visitors to the Golden State can now visit any of its many cannabis dispensaries and sample the wide variety of cannabis products available. But before you start booking your flight, it’s important to be aware that although cannabis is legal to buy and consume, it is still closely regulated, and there are many laws that govern its use. 

Medallion Wellness wants you to have the best possible experience when enjoying cannabis in California. After all, a California prison is probably not on your travel itinerary – unless it’s Alcatraz! If you find yourself in California’s Central Valley, stop by Medallion Wellness dispensaries in Modesto, Atwater, or Waterford

What to Know About Cannabis in California

California Cannabis Delivery

Medallion Wellness is a dedicated team of cannabis enthusiasts and industry veterans with deep roots in the market and in the culture. With six locations in the heart of California, Medallion Wellness is committed to delighting cannabis connoisseurs in California. We’re also dedicated to educating cannabis enthusiasts about the best way to purchase and consume cannabis during your visit so that you’ll find yourself going back to Cali again soon. Keep an eye on our blog to stay updated on all things cannabis.

Where Can I Buy Cannabis in California?

As of 2021, there are 1,023 licensed distributors in the state of California.

Availability depends on the official county policy and city zoning laws. So, while some parts of a city may have a dispensary on every other block, some areas may have none, and you may have to go to the next town over to get a brownie or a joint. When it comes to buying cannabis in California, playing by the rules and being aware of regulations is crucial. Buying cannabis from any unlicensed distributor is illegal.


The California Bureau of Cannabis Control recently launched an initiative called “Get #weedwise” to educate the public about the dangers of buying cannabis from unlicensed vendors.(2) This is as much for the public’s safety as it is the state’s attempt to generate tax revenue. If you’re not buying from a licensed dispensary, and you’re just visiting California, you’re probably also not buying your cannabis directly from a kindly organic farmer. Cannabis from an unlicensed dispensary or dealer doesn’t have any of the regulations that a product in a licensed dispensary does. You may choose to take your chances with a “danger dog” (bacon-wrapped hot dogs sold by unlicensed street vendors in Los Angeles) after bar-hopping. But consuming unlicensed cannabis could have far worse consequences, none of which make for a fun trip to California. Cannabis of unknown origins could be treated with toxic chemicals, pesticides, or be infested with insects, e.coli, or mold.  Besides being disgusting, it could be devastating to your health. 

Licensed cannabis also has clearly-indicated potency, so you’ll know how to dose. You’ll also know that you didn’t end up with a blunt filled with oregano. Make sure you get the right kind of herb! 

What’s it Like at a California Cannabis Dispensary?

Dispensaries in California vary from small shops in strip malls, repurposed drive-thrus, or large stores that look and feel like designer boutiques. However, they are all strictly regulated by California law. The cannabis industry is largely a cash business, although many dispensaries and delivery services do accept credit cards. Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by a security guard (also required for all dispensaries by state law) at the door, or have to be buzzed in to the dispensary. You will have to show an ID that proves that you’re over 21 before you can get started. Those under 21 are not allowed inside. 

Budtenders Are Here to Help 

California Cannabis Delivery

Dispensaries pride themselves on having a staff of knowledgeable and approachable “budtenders.” It’s their job to be both budtender and pharmacist. They can explain the dispensary’s menu, and make sure that you get cannabis products that deliver the effects you desire. With the endless and appealing options that licensed dispensaries offer, shopping for cannabis is much more fun when you can learn more about cannabis products from a friendly budtender. 

You may be overwhelmed with the choices available. Indica, Sativa or Hybrid? Pre-rolled or by the eighth? Outdoor or hydro? Jet Fuel Gelato or Animal Cake? Fear not. Your budtender can recommend the right product based on your preferences, experience, and budget. 

Beyond Flower

Budtenders will help you expand your horizons.  They’ll be able to explain new products and cannabis technology. Take their word for it. There are no free samples (before purchase) and customers are not allowed to handle the product before purchasing. Don’t worry if you can’t decide – the law allows you to buy and possess up to 28.5 grams (about an ounce) at a time (3).

But if you feel like staying in, why not get your cannabis delivered? If you’re in the mood for cannabis in Cen Cal, Medallion Wellness will deliver directly to you. Take your time browsing our online menu, and feel free to contact us with any questions. When you’ve made your selections, you can call either our Modesto or Atwater locations for quick and easy delivery.  

Modesto delivery: (209) 222-3110

Atwater delivery: (559) 785-3559

What Are the Rules About Using Cannabis in California?

So you’ve acquired the legal cannabis product of your choice. Now what? Unfortunately, you’ll have to continue practicing self-restraint. Be excited, but know that there are rules governing cannabis’ transport and use.

California Cannabis

Most places in the U.S. have “open container” laws that prohibit open containers of alcohol in public (but not you, New Orleans, and we love you). In California, cannabis is no different. It’s illegal to have an unsealed portion in the car with you, or on your person in public. It’s also illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. Keep in mind that cannabis products like edibles do not take effect immediately, and their effects can last several hours. Make sure that your purchases stay closed with the manufacturer’s sealed packaging until you are in a private place and have time to indulge safely. About that packaging – it’s regulated too. California law requires child-proof packaging for all cannabis products. 

It’s still illegal to consume cannabis in public, even though it’s a ubiquitous scent in many parts of the state. You can consume cannabis on private property, unless the landlord or property owner has chosen to ban it. California has strict laws about smoking tobacco.  It’s safe to say that anywhere smoking tobacco is banned, so is smoking cannabis. Since you won’t be able to smoke in your hotel room, you may consider researching Airbnb’s 420 Friendly rentals that cater especially to cannabis aficionados.

It’s important to keep in mind that although cannabis is legal in California, it’s still a Schedule 1 drug (for now) according to the United States Federal Government, which puts it in the same class as cocaine and heroin. This means that it’s a federal offense to transport your cannabis across state lines, even if you’re taking it to a state where it’s also legal. This also means that it’s a federal offense to use cannabis on federal land. Federal land includes forest reserves and national parks like Yosemite or Joshua Tree. If you’re outside the city, keep in mind that over 45% of California is federal land, so be safe and practice discretion.(4)

Happy Returns

Make sure that your trip to California stays full of good vibes. Buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary like Medallion Wellness. Engage with your budtender to learn about all the exciting cannabis products available. Enjoy your purchases safely on private property. Don’t try and take any California cannabis souvenirs home – that’s what keychains and postcards are for. Get the most out of your visit to the Golden State, and come back and see us again.


I’m in California! Can I smoke pot on the beach?

Not legally. Cannabis is not allowed to be consumed in public. It’s also not legal to smoke or consume cannabinoids on federal land. Federal land includes forest reserves national parks like Yosemite or Joshua Tree. If you’re outside the city, keep in mind that over 45% of California is federal land, and getting caught there is a federal offense.

How Much Does Cannabis in California Cost?

What you’ll end up spending will depend on the type of cannabis product, potency, amount, and the dispensary itself. A budtender can help you make the right selection based on your needs and budget.


  1. The State of California. Cannabis | California Cannabis Portal. The Cannabis Portal. Published 2021. Accessed January 28, 2021.
  2. Bureau of Cannabis Control. Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). Published 2019. Accessed January 29, 2021.
  3. Bureau Of Cannabis Control. Bureau Of Cannabis Control Text Of Regulations California Code Of Regulations Title 16 Division 42. Bureau Of Cannabis Control Order Of Adoption. Accessed January 29, 2021.
  4. Hanson LA, Bjelopera JP. Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data Carol Hardy Vincent Specialist in Natural Resources Policy.; 2014. Accessed January 28, 2021.
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