In recent years, California's marijuana market has grown considerably. With the growing population of medical marijuana patients, in California and in many other states, marijuana is easier to find, even on the street. Up until relatively recently, dried marijuana, also called bud or flower, made up the majority of the California marijuana drug market. However, marijuana is broadly defined by California law, which covers not just dried flower or bud, but most substances derived from the plant as well. One of the more criminalized forms of marijuana is concentrated marijuana, also called concentrated cannabis. Today in California, marijuana concentrates are becoming more and more popular. With advancements in science and the changing of marijuana laws, marijuana concentrates are being produced and sold all across California. Possession of less than one ounce, or 28.5 grams of dried marijuana flower for personal consumption is no longer criminally prosecuted in California. Those found in possession of less than one ounce face a fine of up to $100, with additional fees. Importantly, this does not result in a criminal charge on your record. Despite these relatively lax regulations on dried marijuana flower possession, possession of any amount of concentrated cannabis is still a chargeable offense. Despite the growing prevalence of concentrated marijuana in California's medical as well as recreational markets, those in possession of any amount of concentrated cannabis can face a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to one year in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, they may face a felony drug charge, which makes this charge a wobbler under California law, chargeable as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If you have a criminal history, particularly one with prior drug offenses, or if the amount of the concentrated cannabis or paraphernalia you were found with suggests intent to sell, you may face a felony charge. Furthermore, criminal marijuana offenses can result in any number of other sanctions that affect other areas of your life. For example, students with a marijuana offense may become ineligible for federal financial aid for a period of time.
Cannabis concentrates, also called hash or hashish, can come in the form of wax, oils, semi-solids or solids that are composed predominately of the active component of the marijuana flower in the form of a resin, leaving the plant matter behind. Concentrates can be highly refined or crude and manufactured by the individual. Cannabis concentrates can be found in many forms and are rarely sold under the name "marijuana", but rather given a term that describes its consistency. Concentrated cannabis can be called wax, oil, honey oil, BHO oil, shatter, hash, hashish, budder (a pun on butter, denoting its consistency), and taffy. Given this vague language, nearly any marijuana flower byproduct can be considered "concentrated", even if it does not pass through a purification process. Concentrated cannabis is more potent simply because of its relatively concentrated state, however it is generally not ingested in the same quantity that dried marijuana flower is. Nevertheless, concentrates are seen as more harmful and dangerous than marijuana flower and as such, the possession of them is still criminalized.
If you are facing charges of possession of marijuana concentrates, contact a drug crime defense attorney immediately. The prosecution must prove you knowingly were in possession of concentrates in order to convict you. You may have a defense option if you were not aware you were in possession of concentrates. Concentrates hardly resemble marijuana. In fact, many marijuana concentrates can look similar to alternative tobacco products like e-juice and chew and some do not smell like marijuana flower at all. In certain states, concentrated cannabis can even look like cooking oil or honey. Given the ambiguous form and color they take, it is not unfeasible for someone to be in possession of a concentrate but not be aware it was an illicit drug or even a consumable substance.
Are you or a loved one facing drug possession charges? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team. Experienced in drug crime defense law, our Visalia area legal team can ensure you take the right steps towards moving on from your charge. Attorney Martens will use his ten years of criminal defense experience to ensure you the best possible chance at a favorable outcome. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.