California peeps who like to smoke did a little touchdown dance at the the beginning of this year, when the state unleashed its recreational cannabis program. One big catch, though, is that a lot of Californians still can’t readily access legal marijuana. In fact, Leafly reports that 75% of communities in California ban cannabis sales through either city or county ordinances.
But never fear, stoners. If you live in one of these so-called “dry towns” or “cannabis deserts,” you might soon be able to access legal marijuana without having to get off your fat ass or even call your local political leaders. A state Senate committee just passed a bill that would allow legal cannabis delivery services to just cart weed right into communities with pot bans. Senate Bill 1302 would block local municipalities and counties from being able to stop delivery drivers from neighboring communities using local roads, as reported by Leafly.
“The premise of this measure is to ensure that the will of the voters to create a safe access to medical and recreational cannabis is preserved and, in some cases, returned,” the bill’s sponsor Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles) said at a hearing Tuesday. “This measure is not intended to interfere with a local government decision to abstain from or ban licensing, taxing or regulating cannabis businesses.”
Many, many California communities have banned legal and even recreational sales. Even within Los Angeles, several communities have tried to protect themselves from legal cannabis. Many do so with good reason, but they also create an incredibly confusing web of laws in California, as no city stands apart from its neighbors when it comes to economics.
Caity Maple, a lobbyist for Northern California weed delivery service WeDrop, testified on Tuesday that the bans were creating “a near impossible regulatory environment for licensed delivery businesses to operate.”
She explained that, “In the city of Sacramento, a business can deliver if they’re licensed in another jurisdiction. But in the county of Sacramento, there is a complete ban on all commercial cannabis activity. In the county of Marin, businesses are allowed to deliver into the jurisdiction, but they cannot open up shop there. And in the city of San Francisco, you can open up shop and deliver within the city but you cannot deliver outside it.”
So far, the bill has met opposition from government organizations which say the bill impedes on local governance, including the California Police Chiefs Association, the California State Association of Counties, and the League of California Cities.
Photo via Flickr user Mobilus in Mobili