California Allows Weed Deliveries to Towns and Communities with Banned Sales

Cannabis delivery operations are free to deliver almost anywhere in California, even towns that barred the legal market
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Getting legal cannabis delivered in California is now only a phone call away, even if you live in a city or county that banned commercial cannabis businesses after voters approved Proposition 64, legalizing recreational cannabis, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

Up until now, delivering legal cannabis in California has been nothing short of complicated in view of the state's patchwork of local regulations, still being worked out.

That is to say…yes, recreational weed is legal throughout the Golden State but some cities, towns and communities have opted out of allowing regulated dispensaries to operate and they banned delivery.

However, on Jan. 16, the state’s Office of Administrative Law officially gave licensed cannabis delivery operations the freedom to deliver their goods to almost anywhere in California, even those cities and counties that have barred it.

The new regulations mean that millions of Californians who were previously unable or prohibited from ordering cannabis to be delivered to their homes are now able to so legally, under state protection.

“In the past, delivery services have really had a hard time,” said said Ian Stewart, who practices cannabis law at the Los Angeles firm Wilson Elser.

Stewart estimates only about 30 percent of local jurisdictions in the state have regulated pot, per the Desert Sun.

Cannabis advocates say the move will help deter black-market sales.

Many cannabis companies and consumers had been pushing for the change, since large areas of California have towns and communities that banned commercial pot activity and refused to set up legal, regulated markets. Residents in those areas were effectively cut off from legally buying cannabis.

Critics, meanwhile, say a more permissive delivery process amounts to state overreach into an area that should be subject to local control. The California Police Chiefs Association also criticized the ruling and predict it will create an "unruly market."

While the dispute may end up in court, or play out again in the Legislature, at this point the new regulation states that a licensed pot delivery can be made to “any jurisdiction within the state.”

“The public spoke loud and clear in favor of statewide delivery,” cannabis bureau spokesman Alex Traverso said in a statement.

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