Statewide legalization of cannabis deliveries pendingRyan Painter December 18, 2018 0 COMMENTS
The California Bureau of Cannabis Control announced on Dec. 7 its plan to adopt a new set of regulations that includes the statewide legalization of marijuana deliveries — a move which, if approved by the state, will overturn Santa Clarita’s moratorium on the practice.
The state currently defines a marijuana “delivery” as the “commercial transfer of adult-use cannabis or cannabis products to a customer.”
Under the existing statue, marijuana vendors who operate in cities like Los Angeles in which commercialized pot is legal can be apprehended by local authorities should they attempt to deliver their product to a city
— such as Santa Clarita — in which it is not legal.
These newly proposed regulations, however, would allow marijuana dispensaries to deliver their product to any address in the state with impunity and would effectively supercede Santa Clarita Municipal Code Chapter 17.51.005(a), which states that “the sale, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, or delivery of cannabis or products containing cannabis are prohibited.”
However, this proposal still must be approved in order to go into effect.
“At this point there is no new law in effect,” Dave Peterson, Santa Clarita associate planner of community development, said. “We are waiting for the Office of Administrative Law to come down with their decision and that will be done in January.”
The CBCC has argued that the language used in Proposition 64, the 2016 California ballot initiative that legalized cannabis, gives them the authority to unilaterally legalize marijuana deliveries. However, opponents of the regulatory change argue that the CBCC’s proposed actions lack a legal predicate.
Should the California Office of Administrative Law side with the CBCC, Santa Clarita will be forced to amend its municipal code to permit deliveries.
“At that point in time the city would consider if any changes need to be made,” Peterson said. “If, in fact, [the code] needs to be changed, we would review what sections are appropriate and make changes if necessary.”
Critics of the CBCC’s proposal argue the proposal of these regulations illuminates a growing tension between local governments and Sacramento.
The announcement comes on the heels of SB 946, a law passed by the state legislature in August that will legalize sidewalk street vending across the state beginning in January. SB 946 directly contradicts a previous version of Santa Clarita’s municipal code, and the city was forced to amend its policies at a council meeting in November in order to remain in compliance with the law.
The League of California Cities has also opposed the regulations on these same grounds, arguing that they will diminish municipal control over cannabis.
Although the city council has adjourned for the holidays, it is likely that cannabis deliveries will be prominent issue when it reconvenes in January.
Ryan Painter covers government and politics for The Proclaimer. He has worked at the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the Daily Trojan and as a campaign staffer during 2018 midterm elections. A 2016 West Ranch graduate, Ryan studies Political Science and International Relations at USC. Find him on Twitter @ryan_pintor.