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Though it was allowed under temporary regulations, the final rules now make it the only legalized state to fully allow home delivery — regardless of the local laws
On January 16th, California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the rules and regulations regulating the nation’s cannabis industry, a little over a year after lawful recreational earnings moved into effect. The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health spent weeks writing and revising 358 pages of rules and regulations before submitting them to OAL in December. According to the Associated Press, regulars say the OAL made no substantive changes before issuing their rubber stamp, effective immediately.
The industry, including tens of thousands of trucks, merchants, testing labs and other companies, had been operating under temporary rules, many of which have been cemented to law. Among the most noteworthy policies permits dispensaries to create bud deliveries to any jurisdiction in California, even those municipalities which have passed local legislation banning cannabis. The rules guarantee legal security to the greater than 100 state-licensed”non-storefront” delivery companies and their customers in so-called bud”deserts,” which is very good news for those tokers who may be homebound or have other limitations that prohibit them from traveling.
“We get people interested in those regions,” explained Ray Markland, director of EcoCann, a dispensary at Eureka, CA, according to the Times-Standard. “We’ve operated under the temporary state laws and delivered there. It’s very good for clients who are physically challenged and aren’t able to make it out to us to get our products. it is a positive movement showing validity into the cannabis industry and also to cannabis as an everyday consumable product and not something to be ashamed to use.”
California is formally the first and only nation to legalize home delivery service throughout all municipalities. According to the Times-Standard, delivery vehicles can only carry a maximum of $5,000 value of marijuana at any time, and must be free of any markings which indicate they’re transporting marijuana”to reduce the threat of theft or other offense. Supporters also state that lawful delivery service will help further undermine what remains of the bud black market, which had continued to flourish because approximately three-quarters of the state’s municipalities have passed local legislation prohibiting authorized cannabis stores from opening.
“You can’t ban delivery,” Maximillian Mikalonis, a cannabis lobbyist for K Street Consulting, told Leafly. “You can just ban licensed, legal, regulated and taxed delivery.”
California’s newly formalized regulations also support the use of child-resistant smaller and packaging testing principles for heavy metals and toxins from most marijuana products. Marijuana will last to become a cash-only business, as the federal banking business is controlled by the United States Department of Treasury, which adheres to the national law prohibiting marijuana. However, going forward, cannabis retailers in the Golden State will only have to check client IDs before buying, and no more are required to record names and other identifying information.
“These accepted regulations are the culmination of two or more decades of hard work by California’s cannabis licensing authorities,” Lori Ajax, chief of the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, said in a statement. “Public feedback was valuable in helping us develop clear regulations for cannabis businesses and ensuring public security.”
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Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States
In the United States, the non-medical use of cannabis is decriminalized in 15 states (plus the U.S. Virgin Islands), and legalized in another 11 states (plus Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia), as of June 2019.Decriminalization refers to a policy of reduced penalties for cannabis offenses, typically involving a civil penalty for possession of small amounts (similar to how a minor traffic violation is treated), instead of criminal prosecution or the threat of arrest. In jurisdictions without any penalties the policy is referred to as legalization, although the term decriminalization is sometimes broadly used for this purpose as well.
The movement to decriminalize cannabis in the U.S. emerged during the 1970s, when a total of 11 states decriminalized (beginning with Oregon in 1973). The findings of the 1972 Shafer Commission helped provide momentum to these efforts, as did the 1976 election of President Jimmy Carter (who spoke in favor of decriminalization and endorsed legislation to federally decriminalize). By the end of the decade the tide had turned strongly in the other direction, however, and no state would decriminalize again until 2001.
Efforts to legalize cannabis in the U.S. included a number of ballot initiatives leading up to 2012, but none succeeded. In 2012, success was finally achieved when Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize. In 2014 and 2016 several more states followed, and in 2018 Vermont became the first to legalize through an act of state legislature. All jurisdictions that have legalized allow for the commercial distribution of cannabis, except Vermont and the District of Columbia. All allow for personal cultivation, except Washington State.