Regulators Release New Rules Governing Legal Cannabis Market
Sacramento, CA – New regulations now in effect make it legal for medical and “adult use” cannabis sales deliveries across California, even in areas that ban marijuana sales.
Wednesday California’s three cannabis-licensing authorities confirmed that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) officially approved and immediately put into effect state regulations for cannabis businesses, which replace emergency ones set in place last year.
The final version of the new rules, submitted to OAL on Dec. 3, underwent a 30-day review that ended Jan. 16. California Cannabis Bureau (BCC) Chief Lori Ajax says the regulations are the culmination of more than two years of hard work by the licensing authorities.
Although there are many related issues still in dispute, one of the top ones concerns home deliveries, a matter that could end up in court. An amended subsection of the rules governing deliveries currently clarifies that all sale of cannabis goods must occur in the retail area except for cannabis goods sold through delivery, a drive-in, or drive-through window. The added amendment highlighted the limited circumstances where authorized sales of cannabis goods may occur outside the retail area.
Critics Argue New Rules Conflict With Prop 64
Law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions where pot sales are currently not allowed fear the rule will undercut local control and foster a hidden market. The League of California Cities says the rule conflicts with 2016’s voter-approved Prop 64 that gives local governments the authority to ban nonmedical pot businesses.
The new rules allow deliveries of medical and recreational pot within any state jurisdiction. However, the retailer and delivery personnel must comply with all of the stated provisions under an extensive list of delivery rules.
For starters, delivery personnel must be at least 21 and specially licensed and use a secure and manned unmarked vehicle with GPS tracking. Cannabis goods must deliver person to person; may not deliver to a daycare or youth center or a school providing instruction to kindergarten or any grades 1 through 12.
Officials in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties and cities of Sonora and Angels Camp are among those that have been following the issue with interest over the past several months. While Calaveras has three medical marijuana dispensaries and Sonora will have one opening this Friday, there are local bans on “adult use” sales.
The regulations and related documents are available for viewing on the California Cannabis Portal here.