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New Law Limits Local Control Over Cannabis Deliveries

On September 18, 2022, Governor Newsom signed SB 1186. The bill enacts the Medicinal Cannabis Patients’ Right of Access Act (“Act”) into law, operative January 1, 2024. Previously, at least one court had observed that local agencies have statutory authority to prohibit cannabis deliveries, even if the delivery business is state-licensed. This Act substantially closes that gap as applicable to medicinal cannabis.

The Act provides that a local jurisdiction shall not adopt or enforce any regulation that prohibits the retail sale by delivery within the local jurisdiction of medicinal cannabis to medicinal cannabis patients or their primary caregivers, or that otherwise has the effect of prohibiting such medicinal cannabis deliveries by licensed medicinal cannabis businesses in a timely and readily accessible manner, and in types and quantities that are sufficient to meet demand from medicinal cannabis patients within the local jurisdiction. 

However, the Act also provides that it does not prohibit a local jurisdiction from adopting or enforcing reasonable regulations on retail sale by delivery of medicinal cannabis.

The Act contains examples of what constitutes a prohibited regulation and what constitutes an allowable regulation. For example, regulation of the number of medicinal cannabis businesses authorized to deliver in the local jurisdiction, the operating hours of medicinal cannabis businesses, or the number or frequency of sales is not allowed if it has the effect of prohibiting the retail sale by delivery of medicinal cannabis by licensed medicinal cannabis businesses in a timely and readily accessible manner, and in types and quantities that are sufficient to meet demand from medicinal cannabis patients within the local jurisdiction. However, reasonable regulations related to licensing requirements, security or public health and safety requirements, and imposition or collection of applicable taxes are allowable. The above is a non-exclusive list - the attorneys at Aleshire & Wynder can provide further guidance and information should you have questions.

The Act does not in any way affect the ability of a local jurisdiction to regulate adult-use (i.e., non-medicinal) cannabis under existing law.

The Act will be enforceable via an action brought by a medicinal cannabis patient or their primary caregiver who seeks to purchase medicinal cannabis within the local jurisdiction, a medicinal cannabis business that seeks to offer medicinal cannabis for sale within the local jurisdiction, the Attorney General, or any other party otherwise authorized by law.

Aleshire & Wynder LLP provides unparalleled legal representation to local communities throughout California.  Our attorneys have been loyally serving public agencies for over 35 years. For further information, please contact Ben Jones of Aleshire & Wynder, LLP’s at (949)250-5430 

This communication is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communication. Facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. This communication may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states.