PD Editorial: Don’t worry about cannabis deliveries
Californians have until the end of next week to weigh in on dozens of proposed changes to the state’s cannabis rules. A few rules are raising eyebrows, especially one that allows companies to continue delivering marijuana even in communities that don’t allow marijuana storefronts. The groups freaking out about those deliveries should chill.
The League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association have been two of the most vocal opponents of cannabis home delivery. They worry that it will lead to increased crime and greater access to cannabis by minors. Delivery persons carrying cash and marijuana would be at particular risk of assault and robbery, they say.
All delivery people carry cash. It’s not as if there has been a rash of robberies. Eaze, a licensed online cannabis company with a delivery app, has made more than 500,000 deliveries statewide since sales became legal at the start of 2018. The company has not reported rampant crime against its workers.
Although communities may forbid cannabis stores — and many have — they can’t ban it from being transported by adults older than 21 on public streets and delivered to a home. That’s created a niche for delivery companies to serve a wide range of people in cities where marijuana is otherwise unavailable. That’s especially valuable for medicinal users who might be homebound or otherwise have difficulty traveling long distances to get their cannabis.
It also makes sense for there to be uniform state laws about transportation and delivery. It’s one thing for a community to exercise zoning authority to keep out marijuana as allowed, but it’s something else entirely for cities to try to overrule transportation of an otherwise legal product.
The idea of licensed companies delivering an adult product in California is nothing new. The state allows delivery of alcoholic products. Cannabis should be treated no differently as long as companies are licensed and responsibly ensuring that clients are old enough to buy.
There are a few other changes in the proposed rules of note.
The state would forbid highway billboards advertising marijuana within 15 miles of the state line. That seems a bit odd given that cannabis is legal in Oregon and Nevada. Only Arizona hasn’t legalized it yet. Any cross-border shopping should be their problem.
There are also stricter rules about packaging to prevent kids from getting into products they shouldn’t. That’s a prudent precaution. Sure, child-safety packaging can be annoying to adults, but it’s a small price to pay for protecting kids.
Speaking of kids, there’s also a ban on shaping edibles like a human being because that might make it more enticing to juveniles. That’s in addition to existing bans on edibles shaped like animals, insects and fruit. We’re hard-pressed to think that this makes much difference, but we suppose it can’t hurt to outlaw THC gummy worms.
Sonoma County supervisors recently voted to allow recreational sales at marijuana dispensaries. It also limited most pot-growing farms to properties at least 10 acres large. We’re taking a go-it-slow approach here, and so is the state with these rules that balance access with reasonable restrictions.
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