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Mother Lode Jurisdictions Leery Of Proposed Cannabis Delivery Regulations

Sonora, CA – With year’s end within weeks, state cannabis regulators are busily rolling out more plans for regulation and licensing; some of which are drawing local lawmakers’ ire.

Since recreational marijuana became legal Jan. 1, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has been continually refining processes for how the commercial industry grows, tests, packages and delivers its goods. The latter activity is a particularly sore topic for jurisdictions with laws banning sales and dispensaries, because the state’s current position is that local governments cannot prevent deliveries on public roads. The issue may well be one that judges decide.

As Sonora City Manager Tim Miller shares, “The League of California Cities is taking a strong position opposed to the regulation on the basis that it violates the understanding of Prop 64, which was to grant local control to cities and counties.” He adds, “So, they are presenting all cities – our city’s interest – and our City Attorney’s Office has a legislative and lobbying division within his office…they are taking a strong position against the proposed regulations. So our interests are represented at two different levels.”

Dealing With Transportation, Delivery

Among other vocal opponents are law enforcement agencies, who point to increased public safety risks due to the potential for a spectrum of related crimes ranging from robberies to impaired driving.

The bureau’s currently proposed regulations include several procedural forms that business and microbusiness applicants must complete for each business activity they plant to engage in. Among the transport-related information applicants must supply is whether they will be transporting cannabis goods or contracting for transportation services; what license type clientele they will be serving; geographic regions; hours of operation; vehicle(s) and trailer(s) details, including VIN, registration and insurance; employee driver(s), passenger(s) and security personnel details; cannabis storage and security measures specifics.

The delivery form, which also requires detailed employee and vehicle information, also requires applicants to describe delivery worker training; processes such as for accepting new orders and preparing orders for delivery; security, tracking and communications with delivery personnel; actual delivery transaction; and auditing of good for inventory control.

Latest Regulatory Movements

Officials anticipate that proposed changes to the draft regulations will finalize in December. There is a 15-day comment period ongoing until Monday at 5 p.m. for input into the latest proposed modifications, which address procedures to appeal administrative actions against cannabis licensees or applicants. To access the state’s “Cannabis Portal” landing page addressing the proposed regulations, click here.

Last Thursday, the bureau announced, due to the large number of incoming applications for temporary cannabis cultivation licenses, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was informing prospective applicants that any application for a temporary license received after December 1 may not process in time for the bureau to issue a temporary license before January 1, 2019.

It added that after Dec. 31 of this year CDFA’s authority to issue temporary licenses expires and advised applicants to submit by Dec. 1 to provide sufficient processing time. To review the bureau’s latest announcements, click here.