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Sonora, Angels Camp Join Group Lawsuit Over Cannabis Deliveries

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Sonora, CA — Two Mother Lode cities and nearly two dozen other jurisdictions are suing California’s Cannabis Czar Lori Ajax and the Bureau of Cannabis Control for allowing medical and adult use deliveries across the state.

The lawsuit, filed late Thursday in the Superior Court of the State of California County of Fresno, seeks to overturn a rule allowing home deliveries to any physical address, including those within communities that banned commercial pot sales. Listed among the plaintiffs are Sonora and Angels Camp. State officials had no immediate comment.

Over the past several months, The League of California Cities and police chiefs have complained that unrestricted home deliveries would create an unruly market of largely hidden pot transactions and undercut local control guaranteed in Proposition 64. Prop 64 is the 2016 voter-passed law that broadly legalized marijuana sales in California and created the nation’s largest legal pot marketplace.

State regulators backed their position by pointing to the business and professions code that specifies local governments “shall not prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads” by a licensed operator.

A Fight To Regain Local Control

According to Sonora City Manager Tim Miller, the bureau’s take is contrary to earlier promises to communities. “The city went through a very deliberate process, had a community participation committee make recommendations to council — and the decision was to allow medical dispensaries only at this time. This [delivery-related] regulation it does not bar anything — any deliveries can be made within the city for adult use or medicinal…so it has circumvented the process and the guarantees that were promised through Prop 64.”

He adds, “The city’s position is that everyone should be operating under the same rules and treated equally and that is certainly not the case with the action that the state took through the Bureau of Cannabis Control. We as a city want them to respect what was approved through Proposition 64, which was local control. They need to honor what was voted on by the people of the State of California.”

The other jurisdictions currently listed in the complaint are Santa Cruz County and the cities of Agoura Hills, Arcadia, Atwater, Beverly Hills, Ceres, Clovis, Covina, Dixon, and Downey. Also participating are McFarland, Newman, Oakdale, Palmdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Riverside, San Pablo, Tehachapi, Temecula, Tracy, Turlock, and Vacaville.

Together, the plaintiffs have formed a coalition called SIMPL, or Safe Implementation of Marijuana Policy for Local Government. Self-described as neither pro or anti-cannabis, the group says its intent is to ensure that each city and county has the right to decide what types of commercial cannabis activities are appropriate for their community. Read more details and view the complaint here.

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