Reg­u­la­tors: Pot de­liv­er­ies can be made through­out Cal­i­for­nia

Imperial Valley Press - - LOCAL & REGION - BY PAUL ELIAS

SAN FRAN­CISCO — Cal­i­for­nia reg­u­la­tors on Fri­day said mar­i­juana de­liv­er­ies can be made any­where in the state, even in lo­cales that ban cannabis.

Law en­force­ment groups and the Cal­i­for­nia League of Cities op­posed the move, ar­gu­ing that pot de­liv­er­ies to places that ban cannabis erodes lo­cal gov­ern­ment control and will in­crease crime in those ar­eas.

The mat­ter has been one of the most de­bated is­sues as state reg­u­la­tors ham­mer out per­ma­nent rules for how mar­i­juana is grown, tested, pack­aged and de­liv­ered.

The de­liv­ery is­sue was in­cluded in reg­u­la­tions drafted by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, which is­sues most re­tail per­mits. The rules will be­come law in 30 days un­less Cal­i­for­nia’s Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tive Law ob­jects. The dis­pute could end up in court.

Recre­ational mar­i­juana be­came le­gal in the state af­ter vot­ers passed Propo­si­tion 64 two years ago.

The bureau has main­tained that Propo­si­tion 64 al­lows for statewide de­liv­er­ies. It added ex­plicit lan­guage au­tho­riz­ing the prac­tice af­ter sev­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cials in anti-pot lo­cales in­sisted they could ar­rest li­censed de­liver drivers in cities and coun­ties that ban mar­i­juana.

The Cal­i­for­nia Po­lice Chiefs As­so­ci­a­tion, League of Cal­i­for­nia Cities and United Food and Com­mer­cial Work­ers West­ern States Coun­cil op­posed statewide de­liv­er­ies and launched an on­line pe­ti­tion cam­paign against the rule.

“Reg­u­lated mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries have tough se­cu­rity, checks for iden­tity and le­gal age and strictly li­censed work­ers,” coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor James Araby said in a state­ment.

“If mar­i­juana can be de­liv­ered any­where with vir­tu­ally no reg­u­la­tion, Cal­i­for­nia will lose these safe­guards.”

League of Cities spokes­woman Adri­enne Sprenger said the agency was wait­ing to see if the Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tive Law approves the pro­posal be­fore de­cid­ing its next step.

Sup­port­ers of statewide de­liv­er­ies ar­gued that sick and frail peo­ple in those ar­eas who de­pend on mar­i­juana to re­lieve pain or anx­i­ety can­not make a lengthy drive for a pur­chase, so they are be­ing shut out of the le­gal mar­ket.

The pro­posal also in­cluded a ban on per­mit hold­ers part­ner­ing with un­li­censed op­er­a­tors, which in­dus­try sup­port­ers said will sti­fle growth.

The bureau in its com­ments ex­plain­ing the added rule said it’s con­cerned about such part­ner­ships do­ing busi­ness in the black mar­ket.

Cal­i­for­nia Cannabis In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion spokesman Josh Dray­ton said most Cal­i­for­nia cities and coun­ties have ex­erted lo­cal control and don’t al­low mar­i­juana, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble for a busi­ness such as a bev­er­age maker or nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ment man­u­fac­turer to partner with a le­gal mar­i­juana oper­a­tor.

He said the bureau’s stand against un­li­censed op­er­a­tors went too far and will hurt the nascent in­dus­try by un­in­ten­tion­ally pre­vent­ing such things as non-li­censed celebri­ties en­dors­ing prod­ucts and other deals not di­rectly in­volv­ing mar­i­juana.

“The in­dus­try has slowed down enough al­ready with­out this added hur­dle,” Dray­ton said.

The Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Food and Agri­cul­ture, which reg­u­lates farm­ers, also re­leased its draft reg­u­la­tions which would con­tinue to al­low farm­ers to re­ceive an un­lim­ited num­ber of per­mits to grow pot.

This March 31, photo shows a booth advertising a de­liv­ery ser­vice for cannabis at the Four Twenty Games in Santa Mon­ica. AP PHOTO/RICHARD VO­GEL

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.