Back in April 2019, a group of cities in California that have banned recreational cannabis sales sued Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration. The state allows recreational pot deliveries even in cities that haven’t opted into the cannabis market, and the 24 cities argued that this violated Proposition 64, which allowed recreational sales in California. The lawsuit was filed against the California Bureau of Cannabis Control at the Fresno County Superior Jail.
A year after the lawsuit was filed, a Fresno judge has ruled that California’s government is not in the wrong by allowing home cannabis deliveries even in cities/jurisdictions that don’t allow retail sales. Fresno County Superior Court Judge Rosemary McGuire said that she was in agreement with the attorneys representing the State Bureau of Cannabis Control, stating that Proposition 64 allows licensed cannabis firms in the state to deliver marijuana products wherever legally permitted buyers are found within state borders.
In their lawsuit, the cities argued that such deliveries put the delivery vans in danger of being robbed of the cash they had on hand and that illegal sellers would be able to blend in with delivery vans from other cities and municipalities. According to attorney J. Scott Miller, who represents the cities, the implementation of statewide cannabis delivery directly conflicts with local autonomy.
Several local leaders, including Riverside Mayor Pro Tem Mike Soubirous, have stated that the state’s implementation of the cannabis delivery program has left them “powerless” to make such decisions on their own. However, the head of the Bureau of Cannabis Control Lori Ajax mentioned a provision in the state’s cannabis legislation, which states that local jurisdictions cannot prevent state-licensed businesses from delivering cannabis products using public roads.
Steve Churchwell, another attorney representing the cities, argues that the provision does not allow recreational cannabis deliveries to the doorsteps of private residences, stating that the regulation only allows deliveries through a jurisdiction. The cities stated that Proposition 64 initially allowed local governments to regulate cannabis, with a 2016 report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office telling voters that the legalization initiative would allow counties and cities to completely ban cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions.
Attorney for the cities Douglas L. White said that by allowing deliveries to cities and counties that have banned retail cannabis sales, the state is undermining and breaking the promise made to voters. The League of California Cities, which also supports the lawsuit, argued that home delivery undermines voter intent. According to Churchwell, the cities haven’t decided whether or not to appeal the decision yet.
The California cannabis sector has lots of players intent on stamping their marks upon this huge market. Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) is one of them. This firm has recently enjoyed a good run in business due to the increase in demand for delivery services as the novel coronavirus pandemic rages on.
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