Marijuana Delivery Services in L.A. Could Live or Die by New Laws

Marijuana Delivery Services in L.A. Could Live or Die by New Laws
File photo by Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly

A leading proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in California would also legitimize pot delivery in Los Angeles.

The city essentially bans pot delivery services.

Under the City Attorney's interpretation of voter-approved proposition D, which outlawed dispensaries while granting limited legal immunity to about 125 of them, only "primary" medical caregivers — such as home nurses — are allowed to transport medical marijuana for patients.

A proposed initiative by ReformCA, which filed its initial language yesterday, asks voters to legalize recreational pot and prohibit cities from banning delivery of medical marijuana "by licensed providers  ... to qualified patients for their personal medical use."

This could be good news for app-intensive delivery services such as SpeedWeed and Eaze, which offer delivery in L.A. We reached out to both concerns but did not hear back before our deadline.

The ReformCA language was supposed to complement a package of bills recently passed by the Legislature. Those proposed laws are designed to bring much-needed regulation to medical marijuana when it comes to cultivation, distribution and retailing.

The recreational proposal does sometimes mirror the medical legislation. Both, for example, would establish a marijuana regulation bureau under the state's Department of Consumer Affairs. 

But while the proposed initiative gives delivery businesses a legal shield, the recent legislation, expected to go into effect in 2018 if Gov. Jerry Brown signs it by Sunday, is less protective.

At the center of the regulation bills is AB 266, which says delivery "can only be made by a dispensary and in a city, county, or city and county that does not explicitly prohibit it by local ordinance."

That could be iffy for L.A. "There is no lawful delivery service under Proposition D," City Attorney Mike Feuer has said.

However, there's still time. Proponents are expected to try to amend the legislation to deal with L.A.-specific issues. Maybe delivery will be addressed.

The initiative is aiming for the 2016 ballot.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >