California Cannabis Deliveries Will Be a Legal & Political Fight
As I blogged yesterday, California regulators made the wise decision in its final rules to allow cannabis retailers to make deliveries into cities and counties that have banned regulated businesses. Allowing deliveries across the state is the compassionate and practical choice to make. It is compassionate because patients with mobility issues shouldn’t be forced to travel long distances and it is practical because it brings more tax dollars into the state’s coffers and helps curtail illegal sales.
The decision to allow statewide deliveries by the Bureau of Cannabis Control was a controversial choice by Cannabis Czar Lor Ajax, opposed by powerful prohibitionists across the state. The cannabis community and industry now needs to step up and help protect this sensible policy in the courts and potentially in the California State Assembly as Reefer Madness prohibitionists are likely to fight to overturn the BCC’s delivery rule, as The Press Democrat reported that the rules were likely to end up “in court”:
By far the biggest dispute focused on deliveries. The rules released Wednesday will allow home marijuana deliveries statewide, even into communities that have banned commercial pot sales.
The regulation by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control was opposed by police chiefs and other critics who predict it will create an unruly market of largely hidden pot transactions, while undercutting control by cities and counties.
The League of California Cities said the rule conflicts with Proposition 64, the law approved by voters in 2016 that opened the way for broad legal sales, which says local governments have the authority to ban nonmedical pot businesses.
Don’t be surprised if the League of California Cities and others join forces to file lawsuits and legislation overturning the state’s decisions on deliveries. The cannabis community will need to be vigilant, put up some dollars for lobbying, and unite for a common goal. Other states, like my home state of Oregon, haven’t been so fortunate on statewide deliveries, but if the California industry takes the BCC’s decision for granted, it could be taken away. Those in the California industry, or those thinking of joining, can hear directly from Cannabis Czar Lori Ajax and start networking and organizing with like-minded industry professionals and advocates at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco on February 7-8. (If you hurry, you can still snag early-bird discounted tickets before the clock strikes midnight bringing in January 19th.)