A bill to expand access to cannabis in California has been introduced and could be moving forward in Sacramento.
If passed, Senate Bill 1302 would allow licensed cannabis delivery services to bring infused products anywhere within California–even in neighborhoods that have banned dispensaries.
The bill was introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara, a Democrat from Bell Gardens. The cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access and the cannabis delivery service WeDrop have signaled their support for the bill.
A key portion of Senate Bill 1302 reads:
“A local jurisdiction shall not prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads, or to an address that is located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the local jurisdiction, by a licensee who is acting in compliance with this division and who is acting in compliance with a license, permit, or other authorization obtained from another local jurisdiction, pursuant to the authority granted by that other local jurisdiction under Section 26200.”
The bill is seen as a way to expand access to cannabis in areas without dispensaries. Although Prop 64. was passed by voters in November of 2016 and implemented in early 2018, the initiative allows for local municipalities to ban cannabis dispensaries. This has compromised safe access for patients and recreational customers. According to a Sacramento Bee analysis, 40 % of California residents live 60 miles or more from a dispensary. The new bill would help work around the local bans by allowing delivery services to cover these areas.
It may offer a great compromise for residents who do not want to see cannabis shops in their neighborhood and patients in need. Since cannabis is now recreational legal throughout the state, residents in areas that ban shops can travel and acquire cannabis and bring it back to their homes. It may make sense to allow for deliveries especially for those who cannot travel.
Although Lara previously introduced the bill, the Senate Governance and Finance Committee was expected to review the proposal on Wednesday.