The retail of recreational cannabis has been legal in California since the beginning of 2018. But there are still some ongoing points of tension and uncertainty being worked out.
Most recently, officials in the state clarified confusion regarding home delivery. According to these officials, California cannabis laws allow for home delivery in any part of the state—including localities that have chosen to ban retail activity.
California’s Laws for Home Delivery of Marijuana
Earlier today, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control approved and released hundreds of pages of regulations and language to clarify rules governing the state’s adult-use marijuana laws.
One of the most important rules clarified by the Bureau has to do with home delivery. More specifically, the Bureau today made explicitly clear that California law allows for home cannabis deliveries in every single jurisdiction.
As a result, home deliveries can be made in locations where retail operations are allowed to operate, as well as locations where retail operations are banned.
Under California’s cannabis laws, local county or city governments have the ability to regulate marijuana-related activity. And that includes deciding whether or not to allow dispensaries to open.
Since recreational retail went online at the beginning of 2018, there have been many jurisdictions that have chosen to ban retail shops from opening.
But confusion has remained over how those bans impact home deliveries. On the one hand, local governments typically advocate for increased control over cannabis. And many places want the right to decide how to handle home deliveries.
On the other hand, many consumers and cannabis advocacy groups insisted that home deliveries were legal statewide.
Either way, today’s actions from the Bureau of Cannabis Control could help put an end to the confusion. As reported by local news sources, officials with the agency cited a California law that says local governments “shall not prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads.”
Officials reportedly interpret that to mean that no local jurisdictions have the right to prohibit home delivery of marijuana. And that includes localities that have chosen to block retail cannabis sales.
According to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the agency is not creating a new rule. Rather, officials at the Bureau said they are simply reiterating laws that already exist.
Regardless, the agency’s endorsement of statewide home delivery is already creating controversy. As local media reports, police chiefs and other critics throughout the state, including the League of California Cities, are opposing the rule.
In general, these groups argue that the rule undermines local control over cannabis activity. Further, cops in the state argue that home delivery could open the door to unregulated marijuana sales and distribution.
But for many in the state, the bureau’s clarification is being celebrated. In particular, consumers who live in locations where retail sales have been blocked see home delivery as their only reliable way to access legal cannabis.
That is especially true for medical marijuana patients. In many places that have blocked dispensaries, patients struggle to access cannabis. But home deliveries could be a viable way for them to obtain their medication.
Local media reports that the controversy could end up going to court. Alternatively, it could spark future legislative considerations.