The state charges brought against dispensary owners and employees may also be brought against marijuana offenders who are engaged in the sale, purchase, cultivation, transportation and/or manufacture of marijuana outside of the medical marijuana industry.
However, any large-scale marijuana offense (whether related to medical marijuana or not) could result in federal charges. Under federal law, the sale or cultivation of any amount of marijuana up to 50 kilograms can result in a prison term of up to five years. (One plant is generally treated as one kilogram). Weights ranging from 50 kilograms to 99 kilograms can result in a sentence of up to twenty years and significant financial penalties. Prison terms and fines increase at a draconian rate as the weight of the marijuana goes up. And there is no medical marijuana protection in the federal system even if the offense occurred in the State of California. Finally, unlike California state law, federal authorities do not require a conviction before seizing assets or property.