Can You Smoke Weed in California Hotels? Here’s What You Need to Know

California is known for its vibrant cannabis culture and relaxed attitude towards marijuana use. However, many people are still unsure about the laws surrounding cannabis consumption in hotels.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It is legal to smoke weed in California, but it is up to individual hotels to decide whether to allow it on their premises.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the laws surrounding cannabis use in California hotels and what you need to know before lighting up.

We’ll also explore the potential risks and benefits of smoking weed in hotels, as well as some alternative options for cannabis consumption while traveling.

Understanding California’s Cannabis Laws

Since California legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2016, there has been confusion among tourists and residents alike about where they can legally smoke weed. While it’s legal to use cannabis in California, there are still restrictions in place to ensure public safety and prevent abuse. Here’s what you need to know about California’s cannabis laws.

Recreational Use

Adults over the age of 21 are allowed to possess and consume cannabis in California. This means that you can buy weed from a licensed dispensary and use it in the privacy of your own home. However, smoking cannabis is illegal in public places, which includes parks, beaches, sidewalks, and bars. So, smoking weed in a hotel room is also illegal unless the hotel specifically allows it.

Medical Use

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996. Patients with a valid medical marijuana card can possess and use cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, the same rules apply to medical marijuana users when it comes to smoking in public places. It’s also important to note that not all hotels allow smoking of any kind, including cannabis, so it’s important to check before you book.

Local Ordinances

While cannabis is legal in California, some cities and counties have their own rules and regulations regarding its use. This means that what’s legal in one place may not be legal in another. For example, some cities have banned smoking cannabis on balconies or patios, while others have allowed it. It’s important to research local ordinances before using cannabis in a new location.

Public Consumption Laws

California’s public consumption laws prohibit smoking or ingesting cannabis in public places. This includes parks, beaches, sidewalks, and other areas accessible to the public. Violating these laws can result in a fine or even arrest. It’s important to be mindful of where you’re consuming cannabis to avoid breaking any laws or putting yourself in danger.

Recreational Use Medical Use
Legal Age 21+ 18+
Amount Allowed Up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of flower or 8 grams of concentrate Depends on medical needs
Where to Buy Licensed dispensary Licensed dispensary or caregiver
Where to Use Private property only Private property only

Hotel Policies on Cannabis Use

If you’re planning a trip to California and wondering whether you can smoke weed in your hotel room, the answer is not straightforward. While adult-use cannabis is legal in California, hotels have their own policies regarding cannabis use, and some may still prohibit it.

Smoking vs. Non-Smoking Hotels

The first thing to consider is whether your hotel is a smoking or non-smoking property. Smoking of any kind, including cannabis, is prohibited in most non-smoking hotels. If you do smoke cannabis in a non-smoking hotel room, you may be charged a cleaning fee or even asked to leave.

Smoking hotels, on the other hand, may be more lenient when it comes to cannabis use. However, it’s important to check with the hotel’s policy beforehand to avoid any issues.

Cannabis-Friendly Hotels

Some hotels in California have embraced the state’s legalization of cannabis and have even become cannabis-friendly. These hotels provide cannabis-related amenities such as vaporizers, edibles, and even in-room delivery services from local dispensaries.

However, it’s important to note that even cannabis-friendly hotels may still have rules and regulations regarding cannabis use on their premises. Make sure to check with the hotel’s policy beforehand to avoid any penalties.

Non-Cannabis-Friendly Hotels

Most hotels in California are still non-cannabis-friendly. These hotels prohibit smoking of any kind, including cannabis, and may even impose penalties for violating their policies. Some hotels may even have a zero-tolerance policy and call the police if they suspect guests are smoking cannabis on their premises.

Penalties for Violating Hotel Policies

If you violate a hotel’s cannabis policy, you may be subject to penalties such as cleaning fees, fines, or even eviction. In some cases, you may also be reported to the authorities.

It’s important to respect a hotel’s policy regarding cannabis use, whether you agree with it or not. If you’re unsure of a hotel’s policy, don’t hesitate to contact them beforehand and ask for clarification.

Remember, while cannabis is legal in California, it’s still important to be respectful of others and follow the rules when it comes to cannabis use in hotels.

Risks and Benefits of Smoking Weed in Hotels

Legal Risks

While California has legalized recreational use of marijuana, it is important to note that smoking weed in hotels is still illegal. Most hotels have strict no-smoking policies, and this includes smoking marijuana. If caught smoking weed in a hotel, you could face fines or even be asked to leave the hotel. It is best to avoid smoking weed in hotels and instead smoke in designated smoking areas or in private residences where it is legal to do so.

Health Risks

Smoking weed, like smoking anything, can have negative health effects. Smoking weed in a hotel room can result in secondhand smoke exposure for other guests and hotel staff. Additionally, smoking weed can cause respiratory problems and lung damage over time. It is important to consider these health risks before smoking weed, whether in a hotel or elsewhere.

Social Risks

Smoking weed in a hotel can also have social risks. Marijuana use can still be stigmatized in some circles, and smoking weed in a hotel room could lead to complaints from other guests. It is important to respect others and their preferences when it comes to smoking weed, and to avoid smoking in places where it may negatively affect others.

Benefits of Smoking Weed in Hotels

While there are legal, health, and social risks associated with smoking weed in hotels, some may still choose to do so for the added convenience and privacy. Smoking weed in a hotel room allows for a controlled environment and eliminates the need to go outside or find a designated smoking area. However, it is important to weigh these potential benefits against the potential risks before making a decision.

Alternative Options for Cannabis Consumption While Traveling

California is one of the few states in the US where recreational cannabis use is legal, but smoking weed in hotels is not allowed. However, there are alternative ways to enjoy cannabis while traveling without breaking the law or risking a fine. Here are some options for cannabis consumption:

Edibles and Tinctures

Edibles and tinctures are great alternatives to smoking weed. Edibles are food products infused with cannabis, while tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts. They are discreet, easy to use, and have longer-lasting effects than smoking. You can find a variety of edibles and tinctures in dispensaries or online. Remember to start with a low dose and wait at least two hours before consuming more, as the effects can take longer to kick in.


Vaping is another popular alternative to smoking weed. It involves heating cannabis extracts or flowers to a temperature that vaporizes the active ingredients without producing smoke. Vaping is less harmful to your health than smoking, and it produces less odor. You can find vape pens and cartridges in dispensaries or online. However, be aware that some hotels may not allow vaping, so check with the hotel before vaping inside.

Smoking Outside of Hotels

While smoking weed inside hotels is not allowed, you can smoke outside in designated smoking areas. However, make sure to check local laws and regulations before smoking in public places. In California, smoking is not allowed within 1000 feet of schools, daycare centers, and youth centers. If you are caught smoking in a non-designated area, you risk getting a fine or even getting arrested. Remember to be respectful of others and dispose of your waste properly.

Cannabis Lounges

Cannabis lounges are becoming more popular in California. They are venues where you can consume cannabis in a social setting. They offer a safe and legal environment for weed consumption, and they often provide entertainment, food, and drinks. However, not all cities in California allow cannabis lounges, so make sure to check if there are any in your area. Also, be aware that most lounges require a membership or a reservation, so plan ahead.


In conclusion, while it is legal to smoke weed in California, it is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding cannabis use in hotels. It is ultimately up to individual hotels to decide whether to allow smoking on their premises, so it is important to do your research and respect their policies.

Whether you choose to smoke weed in a hotel or not, there are plenty of alternative options for cannabis consumption while traveling. From edibles to vaping to smoking outside, there are many ways to enjoy marijuana without breaking any laws or hotel policies.

By understanding the laws, risks, and benefits of cannabis use in hotels, you can make an informed decision and have a safe and enjoyable trip to California.

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