Legal Marijuana Home Delivery Coming To California Under New Rules — Legal Pot On Demand To Be Easy As Pizza

On the same day that a new study showed that legal marijuana will add about $5 billion to California’s state economy, the state appeared set to adopt a new set of rules governing the legal pot industry that would allow for convenient home delivery of marijuana for recreational use when the most populous American state makes the popular drug legal in 2018.

While home delivery of medical marijuana already exists in California, its legal status is questionable. But this week state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown agreed to new rules, scheduled for a vote in the state legislature on Thursday, that would regulate home delivery, allowing pot dispensaries to take delivery orders even if they do not have “brick and mortar” storefronts. That is, delivery-only marijuana businesses will be permitted under the new regulations.

But not every city in California is taking the same laid-back attitude toward marijuana delivery services. According to a report in the L.A. Weekly this week, the state’s largest city, Los Angeles, is set to adopt regulations that would tie delivery services to dispensaries that operate out of physical, rather than virtual, storefronts.

The Los Angeles regulations, banning delivery-only services and tying home delivery of legal marijuana to actual dispensaries that also do walk-in, in-person pot sales, are backed by the local legal marijuana business community.

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California Governor Jerry Brown backs new rules allowing delivery-only legal marijuana services. (Image

“It’s great news,” Bobby Vecchio, of the legal marijuana business group the Southern California Coalition, told the Weekly. “I think having brick-and-mortar locations tied to delivery is good for accountability.”

Until last year, Los Angeles had two marijuana delivery services operating within the boundaries of the city, both offering medical marijuana home delivery via a smartphone app or through telephone orders, Speed Weed and Nestdrop, the Weekly reported. While Speed Weed operated its own distribution centers, Nestdrop operated as essentially a peer-to-peer service, simply connecting consumers with drivers willing to pick up medical marijuana from existing dispensaries and drive it to its destination. But the city shut down both companies, at least within the Los Angeles city limits.

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California voters approved a state ballot measure in last year’s November 8 general election that legalized marijuana for recreational use starting 2018, subject to state regulations and taxation. Marijuana for approved medical uses has been legal in California since passage of a ballot measure in 1996.

But in California and in the other 27 states in which marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use, the law may face a new challenge from the federal government. Marijuana remains classified as a “Schedule One” drug, which means that according to the federal government, pot has no accepted medical use, and remains illegal.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions intends to prosecute marijuana businesses in states where pt is legal. (Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In 2014, Congress passed legislation that gutted federal drug enforcement against medical marijuana businesses that were legalized at the state level, by removing all federal funding for chasing down legalized marijuana sellers. But earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote letter to Congress asking for that funding ban to be lifted.

Sessions, who once expressed the belief that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and has equated marijuana use with the opioid epidemic which killed 30,000 Americans in 2015 alone — though there are no known cases of marijuana overdose deaths — told Congress that “it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.”

California is going ahead with its legal marijuana program regardless, creating an industry that will immediately be worth $5 billion to the state, including revenue brought in by what is expected to be a sharp increase in marijuana tourism, according to a study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

[Featured Image By David McNew/Getty Images]