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What you need to know about California drug cultivation and manufacturing laws

What you need to know about California drug cultivation and manufacturing laws

According to the California Health and Safety Code 11379.6HS, it is a crime to manufacture, compound, convert, produce, derive, process or prepare through chemical extraction or synthesis any substance classified as controlled by law.

The full list of controlled substances is stated by federal law under the United States “Controlled Substances Act.” However, marijuana(marijuana is defined as any part of the cannabis sativa or cannabis indica plant, whether growing or not, including resin extracted from the plant. However, it does not include industrial hemp which enjoys a special status in California as it is legal to possess and cultivate certain amounts of marijuana for medical and recreational use by individuals over the age of 21. Other controlled substances such as cocaine, LSD or crystal meth enjoy no such legal exception.

California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 HS imposes a criminal liability on anyone who provides a building, enclosure, room, space or domicile for the purpose of illegally manufacturing, storing or selling an illegal substance.

To prove the defendant guilty, the prosecutor has to prove the following facts:

  • The defendant took part in manufacturing, processing, compounding, converting, deriving or preparing of a controlled substance
  • The defendant made a suggestion to manufacture drugs
  • The defendant was not licensed for such an activity

To be found guilty of having taken part in the initial or intermediate steps of manufacture or cultivation is enough to be found guilty of the charge. Consequently, it is also illegal to manufacture, compound, convert, produce, derive, process or prepare through chemical extraction or synthesis any substance that is used in the manufacture of any illegal or controlled substance.

If found guilty, the defendant can face a fine of up to $50,000 and a jail term of three, five or seven in a state prison. The prosecutor can also request enhanced sentencing based on the defendants prior record. Possession of chemicals or compounds used in the manufacture of synthetic drugs such as Crystal meth or PCP can result in a prison term sentence of two, four or six years. Once again, the prosecution can request enhanced sentencing based on the defendants prior record.

There are other circumstances that can aggravate the usual penalties such as an minor under the age of sixteen residing in the structure where the crime took place when it took place. The convicted can face additional and consecutive jail terms of three to twenty five years if the illegal substances being manufactured were in excessive amounts and they were made up of crystal meth, PCP or GHB. Other enhancing factors include if the defendants actions resulted in someone being injured or killed, or if the defendant has a previous record of being convicted for drug related crimes.

California Marijuana Laws

Under California law, it is legal for individuals who are twenty one years of age or older to grow up to and no more than six marijuana plants in their private residence.

To exceed this number of plants is a misdemeanor that is punishable with up to six months in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $500.

However, the same crime is prosecuted as a felony for people with serious violent felonies on their record, defendants with two or more prior convictions for cultivating more than six marijuana plants and defendants who violate California environmental laws in their cultivation activities.

There is another exception for patients who legally use medical marijuana and their caregivers. Registered medical marijuana users may grow up to six mature marijuana plants, twelve immature marijuana plants or with a doctor’s recommendation a greater amount that is consistent with that individuals medical needs.

 

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