California to keep allowing pot deliveries statewide, at least for now

A California regulation allowing home deliveries of marijuana statewide faces challenges both in the legislature and the courts, but it has temporarily overcome one of the tests. [LA Times]

Earlier this year, the state Bureau of Cannabis Control adopted a regulation allowing home deliveries statewide, including in cities that ban marijuana dispensaries. The regulation now faces a legal challenge from 24 cities that recently filed a lawsuit against the state, which asks the courts to invalidate the home deliveries rule.

Additionally, Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) authored a bill that would allow cities to ban home deliveries of cannabis. But, the bill has been tabled for a year after the Assembly Business and Professions Committee deadlocked on the matter.

The committee voted 7-7 on the bill on Tuesday. Cooley then said he will decide later whether to revive his legislation next year.

Cooley has argued that California voters were told when they passed Proposition 64, the marijuana legalization measure, that local control over pot regulations would be preserved. Marijuana industry officials and some legislators argue that banning home deliveries would limit access to marijuana for consumers, including individuals who have medical pot prescriptions.

Assembly Business and Professions Committee staff said it may be premature to approve Cooley’s bill and that legislators should wait until the ongoing litigation over home deliveries is resolved.

Cooley’s bill was supported by the League of California Cities, which has been active in lobbying over marijuana regulations in the state, including in San Luis Obispo County. Locally, the League of California Cities has been accused of attempting to stifle competition by supporting bans on pot businesses in some cities, but not in others. 

In a related development, Assemblyman Phil Tang (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill that would require cities to license pot shops if more than 50 percent of their electorates voted for Prop. 64. The proposal would set a minimum number of licenses for such cities that would equate to 25 percent of the cities’ alcohol sales licenses.

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