LOS ANGELES (AP) — California cities on Monday objected to a proposed change in state rules that they say would allow unchecked home marijuana deliveries in places that have banned local pot sales.
In a letter to state regulators, the League of California Cities said the change would undermine local authority and potentially lure criminal activity to cities that wanted pot businesses kept out of their communities.
The proposal would unleash “cannabis delivery anywhere in the state, regardless of conflicting local regulations or bans,” the group wrote in the letter, released Monday but dated July 27.
“An influx of unapproved local cannabis deliveries will decrease transparency of cannabis operations and increase public safety obligations and costs for local law enforcement,” the letter said.
California kicked off broad legal pot sales Jan. 1. What has emerged is a patchwork of local laws, with some cities and counties embracing the legal cannabis economy while others have limited sales and growing or outlawed all commercial pot activity. That’s created so-called pot deserts, where sales are forbidden.
The state Bureau of Cannabis Control said in a statement that it was merely clarifying what has always been the case: that a licensed pot delivery can be made to “any jurisdiction within the state.”
The state is considering changes to rules that govern the legal marketplace.
At issue is apparently conflicting fine print in the maze of state law and rules involving marijuana.
The cities are pointing in part to Proposition 64, the law approved by voters in 2016 that opened the way for legal pots sales for adults, which allows local governments to ban nonmedical pot businesses.
But the state is looking to the business and professions code, which states that “a local jurisdiction shall not prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads” by a licensed operator.
A proposal in the Legislature intended to clarify that a licensed business can deliver cannabis anywhere in California stalled in the Senate.
This story has been corrected to show that the name of the group is the League of California Cities, not the California League of Cities.