Capitol Alert

Marijuana delivery to all of California? Measure would expand access

There's a problem with access to legal weed in California, and a Senate bill may help solve it.

A 2016 voter-approved measure to legalize marijuana in the state gave cities and counties the authority to pass regulations outlining the types of weed businesses that can operate within their borders. With limited time to craft rules before the law took effect at the start of the year, many towns approved outright bans of all marijuana businesses.

The patchwork of local laws have created vast "pot deserts" that will remain until cities and counties opt to reconsider rules. A Bee analysis in March found that 40 percent of the state is 60 miles or more from a legal dispensary.

In theory, marijuana delivery companies willing to trek to outlying areas might help fill that gap. But state law also allows cities and counties to ban delivery companies headquartered elsewhere from driving weed to consumers within their borders.

Senate BIll 1302, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would permit operators licensed by the state and a local jurisdiction to delivery weed anywhere in California.

The bill, sponsored by the delivery company WeDrop and Americans for Safe Access, is expected to clear the Senate Governance and Finance Committee Wednesday. The committee meets at 9:30 a.m. in Room 112.

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