Senator Seeks to Overhaul Cali Cannabis Delivery Laws

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Senator Seeks to Overhaul Cali Cannabis Delivery Laws

Since the implementation of Proposition 64 which was billed as cannabis “legalization” in California, an in-depth study by the Sacramento Bee found that nearly 40% of residents in The Golden State have to travel 60 miles or more to reach the nearest marijuana dispensary.

Under Prop 64, local governments have been given the power to regulate cannabis sales within their jurisdiction…or to ban them altogether. Many municipalities – like Calaveras County in NorCal, for example - have chosen the latter.

Prop 64 was passed in the 2016 election with 57% support from Cali residents who wanted easier access to weed, but did they really know what they were signing up for?

The Bee created an eye-opening overlay map of California showing the 284 adult-use retail dispensaries that were licensed by the beginning of March 2018 and found that 30 percent of the state – mostly urban areas with large population centers like LA, San Diego, San Fran, etc.) is within 30 miles of at least one legal dispensary.

29 percent of the state is between 30 and 60 miles of a dispensary, and as noted above, nearly 40% of the state does not have a legal cannabis retail outlet within a 60 miles radius.

These areas are now being dubbed as “Pot Deserts” (no, not Lil’ Debbies snacks, those are pot desserts).

California's 'Pot Deserts'

As you can see by the map formulated by The Bee, these “deserts” hug virtually the entire eastern border of California, while the coastal areas are pretty well saturated with available dispensaries.

This disparity in safe access has not gone unnoticed. Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has drafted Senate Bill 1302 which seeks to amend Section 26200 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to cannabis, and allow legal cannabis delivery to areas where there are no nearby brick & mortar pot shops.

1302 bluntly reads:
This bill would prohibit a local government from adopting or enforcing any ordinance that would prohibit a licensee from delivering cannabis within or outside of the jurisdictional boundaries of the local jurisdiction.

The bill would include findings that the changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern, rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.

Translated…

If you don’t want a dispensary in your town, fine, but you will allow cannabis to be delivered to the residents of your town AND once this is passed it will blanket all of California, even your ass-backwards council meeting. Have a nice day!

As you might expect, local Podunk governments are already opposing the legislation as they see some precious power potentially slipping from their grasp.

When people around the country think of cannabis, they often think of Cali. When “legalization” was passed in 2016, many people thought to themselves, “wasn’t it already legal there?”

What is the point of a statewide initiative for legal cannabis, passed with overwhelming support from voters, if nearly half the state has to drive an hour or more to get their hands on some?