California Rejects Ban on Statewide Pot Delivery

Last week, 24 cities across California banded together to sue the state over its stance on cannabis delivery. Now new information is emerging. We recently discovered that politicians have been sidelining the bill for at least a year since it is so clearly unpopular and runs the risk of hampering California’s already lagging cannabis market even further.

The information leaked just a few days after 24 Californian cities filed a lawsuit against the state, including Covina, Riverside, and Beverly Hills. They are requesting the courts to make invalid a state regulation drafted early this year that would permit home delivery, including in cities that are specifically prohibiting cannabis stores in their jurisdictions.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley, a Democrat from Rancho Cordova, will decide whether he will attempt to breathe new life into his proposal next year. This on Wednesday, the next day after it failed to pass. The Assembly Business and Professions Committee deadlocked on a 7-7 vote, leaving Cooley to say of his coworkers against his bill that, “I actually think they are wrong on the policy.”

The Controversy of Marijuana Delivery

Some lawmakers and business officials oppose the bill vehemently, pointing out that approving it would prevent access to cannabis for many people, including those with severe medical conditions that limit mobility. Furthermore, not all cities in California allow retail sales, making delivery a crucial and only option for those areas, as Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, a Democrat from Sacramento, explained.

“But all around us are such deserts of people who cannot gain access,” McCarty clarified. “For men and women who are driving 50, 60, 100 miles to buy cannabis, it just does not seem reasonable.” Most consumers agree wholeheartedly and support statewide delivery, but now Cooley has to persuade skeptics with enforcement licenses in towns that permit retail stores, which would likely cause chaos.

According to Cooley, voters believed they would retain local control when they agreed to Proposition 64, the legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot that allowed licensing of pot stores and farms by the state. “Proponents said it would protect local authority,” he said. “I am still a proponent of local control. It reflects an interest in the quality of life locally.” People should reserve a say in their surroundings.

Bill Has Large Support

According to Charles Harvey, a lobbyist, the League of California Cities also gave its support to the bill. However, Harvey explained that the Bureau of Cannabis Control decided that allowing weed deliveries in every city would give further impetus to the thriving black market, as well as interfere with enforcement of the law, but it goes against what Proposition 64 promised.

In speaking to the committee, Harvey said it best, “The law at issue efficiently stripped local decision-making away from local authorities and acts as a clear overreach the Bureau of Cannabis Control.” The committee’s report cited its motive for filing the lawsuit as halting proceedings on legislation for the bill, claiming it immature to approve it “until a settlement has occurred in that lawsuit.” A date not yet set.

Other Upcoming Bills

Amid all the controversy surrounding the marijuana delivery bill, Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat from San Francisco, introduced a bill that would compel cities to license weed shops if more than half of its voters said yes to Proposition 64, giving say back to the people. Cities would then have to issue licenses and do so equal to at least 25 percent of their permits for alcohol sales.

If cities still object to the required number of licenses, then they would have to appeal to their voters by submitting an appeal. According to Ting’s office, the bill “intends to expand access to cannabis for people in need, increase state and local earnings for general services, and make sure a controlled cannabis market can triumph.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Avatar for Grant Grant April 15, 2019 / 5:07 pm / Reply

    Free the Plant!! If the companies have licenses, they should be able to operate freely

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