Trial Brief Filed in Calif. Cannabis Delivery Rules Lawsuit

The defendant California government agency in a California marijuana case filed a brief arguing that Proposition 64, which allows adults in California to possess and purchase cannabis, supports their regulations for allowing cannabis to be delivered by retail businesses. They claimed there is no controversy and that the relief requested by the plaintiff municipalities would not avoid harm or resolve issues.

“In the regulation, the Bureau merely recognized that the Legislature meant what it said, a conclusion that is supported by the overall structure and purpose of the statute as well as the repeal of a statute granting local jurisdictions the authority to prohibit deliveries of medicinal cannabis,” the defendants said in their brief.

The defendants are the Bureau of Cannabis Control and Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau, represented by Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general. They asked the court in their brief to not issue a declaration, claiming that there is no controversy stated by the complaint. They claimed the delivery regulations do not unlawfully preempt any local laws and that retail delivery typically is not subject to local control.

The regulation at issue states retailers can only deliver cannabis to a physical address that is not on public land, publicly leased land, or a school providing instruction to kindergarten through 12th grade or other youth centers. It also says delivery employees cannot leave the state while possessing cannabis goods but can deliver to any jurisdiction within California.

The plaintiffs are cities and counties in California that belong to the Safe Implementation of Marijuana Policy for Local Government coalition (SIMPL) represented by Steven Churchwell. They argue the clause stating cannabis can be delivered “to any jurisdiction within the State of California provided that such delivery is conducted in compliance with all delivery provisions.” The entities include Santa Cruz County, Agoura Hills, Angels Camp, Arcadia, Atwater, Beverly Hills, Ceres, Clovis, Covina, Dixon, Downey, McFarland, Newman, Oakdale, Palmdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Riverside, San Pablo, Sonora, Tehachapi, Temecula, Tracy, Turlock, and Vacaville.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control argued in their brief that “plaintiffs are able to challenge the Delivery Regulation only by ignoring the structure, purpose, and history of (the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act) and urging this Court to reach the bizarre conclusion that a statute stating that local jurisdictions ‘shall not prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products’ actually gives local jurisdictions unfettered power to ban such deliveries.”