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Marijuana is not legal in California if residents don’t have a reasonable way to buy it

California law allows licensed businesses to deliver marijuana to customers, and it says specifically that cities and counties cannot prevent delivery services from traveling on public roads. Yet even though cities can’t stop deliveries traveling through their jurisdiction, many cities currently ban deliveries to their jurisdiction. That means that unlike deliveries of virtually every other legal, adult-use product which can be ordered over the internet in California, marijuana deliveries are banned.

The practical effect is that residents in some places have little to no access to legal medical or recreational cannabis products because of local regulations. Roughly half of Californians live in cities or counties that prohibit marijuana stores and delivery services from opening in their jurisdictions. An analysis by the Sacramento Bee earlier this year found residents in 40% of the state had to drive over 60 miles to find a licensed dispensary to buy legal medical or recreational marijuana.

Draft regulations released by the agency last month would make it clear that marijuana businesses may deliver to any private address in the state, regardless of whether the city or county permits actual brick-and-mortar pot shops in the jurisdiction. Delivery employees would still need to confirm the identity and age of the buyer, and the delivery would have to be made to a private physical address. The intent is to ensure that adults in California have access to legal marijuana no matter where they live.

There is debate over how much marijuana a delivery employee may carry — the proposed limit is $10,000 worth of product — and whether that poses a public safety risk of theft. There’s also concern over whether the delivery rule would allow businesses to get around local rules on labor practices and taxes. Those are legitimate issues that need to be ironed out. The problem is that the more California cities prohibit legitimate marijuana businesses, the more likely medical and recreational pot consumers will rely on unlicensed sellers.

Frank T. Luciano is a highly successful and experienced drug crime attorney operating in multiple areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Elmwood Park and Fort Lee. In nearly 40 years as a criminal defense attorney, there is almost no legal situation that Mr. Luciano has not seen and successfully navigated his clients through.

Give yourself the best chance at a positive legal outcome by contacting Frank T. Luciano’s New Jersey law office immediately at 973-471-0004.

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