Despite having secured the required permission to sell recreational marijuana at the start of 2018, retail outlets across California cannot use drones and automated vehicles to deliver the drug, according to the latest regulations issued on September 6, 2017 by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) under the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The BCC has released these emergency regulations as they anticipate issuing 11,500 retail licenses in the first year alone.
The BCC regulations clearly state that only commercial vehicles or trailers can be used to transport cannabis or cannabis products. Therefore, deliveries carried out via aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones or unmanned vehicles will remain illegal. In other words, marijuana can be transported only in an enclosed motor vehicle and delivered to customers in person. In the wake of illegal deliveries of cannabis and other drugs to individuals in prisons in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, California authorities are clear about how they would like to take things forward.
The new regulations will serve a hard blow to ambitious marijuana-delivery startups such as Eaze, which, earlier this year, had showcased many demonstrations of how drones could be deployed to deliver marijuana supplies at the customers’ doorstep. Additionally, the new law also mandates that cannabis deliveries must be made to physical addresses. Public lands or buildings leased by public agencies are a big “No.”
Marijuana menace in California
Popularly known as pot or weed, marijuana continues to be the most widely available and abused illicit substance in California. Statistics show that huge quantities of low-grade marijuana are often smuggled into the state by Mexican drug cartels through the southwest border. Besides, highly potent Canadian marijuana, which is commonly known as “BC bud,” is also smuggled into the state through the northern border.
However, to cater to the growing demand and rates of addiction, significant quantities of potent domestic marijuana is also cultivated in sophisticated indoor, hydroponic grow houses, which have illegally mushroomed throughout the state. Also, in the Northern California’s marijuana growing region, the local sheriff’s office is constantly flooded with disgruntled residents complaining about the stench emanating from the numerous cannabis farms.
Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seems to be perpetually engrossed in cracking down on illegal wax-manufacturing units across California. Wax is a distilled form of marijuana, which is highly potent and its single shot is capable of producing a 24-hour-lasting high in user.
Although marijuana has been legalized in several states across the nation, the therapeutic value of the drug remains a controversial and debated issue. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to retain its Schedule I classification tag for marijuana along with drugs such as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ecstasy. However, addiction to pot or any harmful drug can be treated with timely medical intervention. If a person is battling substance abuse, he/she should immediately seek professional help from a reputed addiction treatment center.
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