Cal NORML Backs Home Deliveries of Cannabis in California

August 16, 2018 - In testimony submitted to state Bureau of Cannabis Control, Cal NORML strongly backed a proposed regulation to allow home delivery of cannabis from licensed businesses to households throughout California.

"On behalf of California’s many consumers living in jurisdictions that have banned licensed sales of cannabis, we wish to express our strong support for your proposed regulation Chapter 3, Sec. 5416(d), which clarifies that licensed cannabis delivery businesses may drive and deliver their wares to residents in any jurisdiction in California," the letter states.

Regulation 5416(d) is on the agenda for the BCC's advisory committee meeting on Monday, August 20 in Sacramento.

Regrettably, the majority of California’s local governments have been remiss in permitting legal access to cannabis within their jurisdictions, even where local voters favored Prop 64. As a result, far too many consumers lack legal access to cannabis in their communities. This situation is especially bad for medical cannabis patients, many of whom suffer mobility problems and have trouble accessing legal dispensaries.

While supporters of local bans argue existing authorizes local governments to prohibit cannabis businesses within local jurisdictions, this language in the law does not apply to activities protected elsewhere in Proposition 64, specifically the right of consumers to purchase and obtain cannabis at their homes (Ca Health & Safety Codes 11362.1(a) 1 and 11362.2). Moreover, Prop. 64 (Business & Professions Code 26080(b)) specifically forbids local jurisdictions from preventing transportation of cannabis products on public roads by licensees.

Given that local governments are already required to accommodate licensed transportation of cannabis, there exists no argument on public health or safety grounds that residential deliveries pose unusual risks to the community. On the contrary, the right of consumers to obtain and purchase cannabis is explicitly protected by Prop. 64.

As pointed out in an August 14 oped in the LA Times, "Marijuana is not really legal in California if residents don't have a reasonable way to buy it."

As regards medical patients, because Prop. 64 states: “Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted to amend, repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996,” there exists no justification or precedent for allowing local communities to ban the delivery of medication to residents in their jurisdictions. On the contrary, such restrictions would violate the mandate of Prop. 215 “to ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes” and “provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need.”

Finally, Cal NORML concludes, allowing state-licensed deliveries everywhere in the state will reduce the incentive for consumers to resort to the illicit market. The Bureau’s proposed regulation allowing home deliveries will therefore help reduce marijuana crime by assuring that all California consumers have convenient access to legal, licensed suppliers.

Founded in 1972, California NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is a membership organization dedicated to protecting the rights of cannabis consumers in California.

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