WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A lawsuit was filed against California state regulators on Thursday by 25 of its cities requesting court to overturn the law permitting unrestricted home deliveries to every physical address in the state as well as stopping state regulators from implementing it.
- The lawsuit said that the law would potentially hurt local pot businesses and clashes with local governments prohibiting pot deliveries within their boundaries.
- Marijuana businesses and buyers pushed for home delivery services due to the ban of commercial sales and activity in several areas of the state.
On Friday, some 25 cities including Beverly Hills filed a lawsuit against California state regulators to reverse a law that allows home deliveries statewide of legal marijuana, including communities where commercial pot sales are banned. It also requested the court to prevent state regulators from enforcing it.
According to the lawsuit that was filed late Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court, the rule allows deliveries of commercial cannabis “to any physical address in the state.” This differs with the authority of local governments to disallow pot deliveries within their boundaries.
The League of California Cities and police chiefs protested the adoption of the delivery policy when it was adopted in January. They said it would generate an uncontrolled market of hidden pot transactions while underselling local control which was promised in a law legalizing marijuana sales in 2016.
In a statement, Ryan Coonerty, the chairman of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors said that the state rule not only harms local marijuana businesses but it also “betrays the promise made to the voters” in 2016.
Beyond home deliveries, the lawsuit also significantly represents an early court taste of Proposition 64- the law legalizing marijuana sales in California to adults. Exactly what portions of the law mean including overseeing the size of cannabis farms, have been under the subject of heavy dispute.
Home deliveries were pushed by marijuana companies and consumers due to the prohibited commercial pot activity in vast areas of the state or due to lack of rules that allow legal sales and that which creates pot “deserts”. Residents in such areas were cut off from buying legal marijuana especially for the sick, who could not drive long distances.
Since pot cannot be delivered via U.S. Postal Service while it remains federally illegal, in California, it can be delivered to their door only by a licensed retailer. So far, there are 311 active licenses to deliver pot, say regulators.
No immediate comments were received yet from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control which wrote the rule.
Meanwhile, aside from Beverly Hills and Santa Cruz County, the other cities include Agoura Hills, Angels Camp, Arcadia, Atwater, Ceres, Clovis, Covina, Dixon and Downey. Also participating are McFarland, Newman, Oakdale, Palmdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Riverside, San Pablo, Sonora, Tehachapi, Temecula, Tracy, Turlock and Vacaville.
Source: CBS News