How Much Recreational Weed Can You Have on You?

Hands Holding Marijuana Nugs in Public Bag
Photo by: Michael Moloney/Shutterstock

Whether you are visiting a state with legal recreational weed or living in one, knowing the legal limits on how much you can carry, how much you can grow, and where you can use it is paramount in keeping the legal weed program in good social standing in the local community and our broader society. In this article, we will review some of these differences and answer how much weed you can legally carry in each state.

Federal law continues to prohibit marijuana sales and consumption, causing each state to craft laws and regulations governing their pot industry along with a unique framework. As a result, both subtle and major differences can be found across the legal marijuana industry on a state-by-state basis.

So, How Much Weed Can You Have on You?

Why Set Possession Limits?

Capturing the attention of the nation, legal marijuana has even those who view its use and distribution as disastrous for public health starting to get the point: We need to make a decision. As more states pass adult legalization (nine in total, if we include Washington, D.C.), it is becoming an issue capable of rallying large segments of public support from both sides of the political spectrum.

While the inconsistency between federal law, emerging research, public opinion, and popular culture can indeed become tiring, almost immobilizing, the social impact has thus far been mild, producing more legal revenues than ticket quotas ever could.

Hands Holding Marijuana Nugs in Public Bag
Photo by: Michael Moloney/Shutterstock
In part, limits on how much weed you have on your person as opposed to the volume you can possess at home comes down to the word “intent.” In the eyes of the law, setting a limit on how much a person 21 or older can possess while in public sends a clear message.

The Message?

Carry anything above this, and we’ll consider you more likely to be distributing the substance illegally. Or at least you’re a person with some suspicious behavior patterns. If we are to view marijuana as legally equivalent to alcohol, it would stand to reason that these limits should exist almost exclusively to people under 21.

Once 21, you can buy and carry several kegs without the police (or anyone) giving it a second thought. It is only once you are using it that a limit exists.

In every state where marijuana has been legalized, the possession of marijuana beyond the defined legal threshold is likely to be met with the full force of the law, often including a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge, jail time, and fines.

List of Every Legalized State’s Pot Possession Limits


Alaska legalized marijuana in 2014, the same year as Oregon. Alaskan residents may grow up to six plants at home and can keep any marijuana that they harvest. In public, you can have up to one ounce (28 grams) of weed on you, as long as you are 21 or older and in Alaska. Currently, Alaska is still working out its limits on edibles and concentrates.


California legalized marijuana in November 2016. As the largest state by population in the U.S., California has chosen to limit how much weed you can have on you by product category. This means marijuana concentrates (shatter, wax, etc.) and fresh marijuana flower each carry a different limit acceptable in public. These limits on marijuana are as follows:

  • Up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana buds
  • Up to eight grams of marijuana concentrate


Cop Car Light Bar Police Enforcement Marijuana
Photo by: Yakov Oskanov/Shutterstock
Colorado passed Amendment 64 in 2012, implementing the lawfully on January 1st, 2014. Initially, Colorado limited out-of-state purchases differently than in-state purchases, but this policy has since changed. Today, all recreational consumers in Colorado are able to publicly to carry weed or its products in the following quantities:

  • Up to one ounce (28 grams) of fresh flower
  • Up to eight grams of concentrate (wax, oil, shatter, rosin, etc.)
  • Up to 800mg per transaction


Maine legalized marijuana for adult use in 2016. The industry has hit several regulatory snags, along with concerns about the direction of the federal government. Even so, the state is expected to launch recreational marijuana in 2018 across the state. While lawmakers continue to tweak and tune the regulations before the law is fully implemented, at this time there is no equivalency between concentrates, edibles, and flower.

Maine has allowed residents and visitors to have up to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of weed on them in public.


Massachusetts voted on legal marijuana in 2016. While the program has been hit by delay after delay, the state is expected to launch in 2018, the same year as California and Maine. In Massachusetts, lawmakers have limited possession as follows:

  • Up to one ounce (28 grams)
  • Up to five grams of concentrates

At this time, there is no equivalency guidance for edibles.


Nevada had record turnaround from the time the law was passed (November 2016) to when the program went online (July 2017). Every state previously took a year or more to implement the legislation. In Nevada, you can have weed on you in the following volumes:

  • Up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana flower
  • Up to 3.5 grams (1/8th oz) of marijuana concentrates


Oregon passed their legal weed program in 2014, joining their neighbor, Washington, in reforming pot laws in the region. In Oregon, lawmakers have defined equivalence for various different forms of cannabis or cannabis-infused products. Presently, recreational consumers can carry the following limits:

  • Up to an ounce of fresh marijuana flower
  • Up to five grams of concentrates
  • As much as sixteen ounces of marijuana in solid form (such as cannabutter)
  • As much as 72 ounces of marijuana in liquid form (tincture or oil)

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. passed laws allowing adults 21 and older to possess and use marijuana, but the law lacked the ability to license and therefore regulate the sale of it. Despite this, if you are 21 or over, you can have up to two ounces of weed in your possession at any one time.


Washington passed their legal marijuana program in 2012, alongside Colorado. The program went online in July 2014 and has since generated billions in sales. Similarly to Oregon, Washington has separated product categories by equivalency. According to state lawmakers, here is how much weed you can have on you in public:

  • Up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana flower
  • Up to seven grams of marijuana concentrates
  • Up to sixteen ounces of infused product in solid form
  • Up to 72 ounces of marijuana in liquid form (such as a tincture)