Law and Policy: Medical Marijuana Delivery

BASA is one of many collectives and cooperatives that have set up delivery services to get medical marijuana to members who may find it difficult to visit their dispensary. These delivery services must follow the same rules as a storefront dispensary, and are often extensions of a storefront dispensary.

However, many delivery services available in California are not extensions of storefront dispensaries, nor do they operate with permits that give them legal protection by the local authority where they operate. While they may not be violating any particular local law, this lack of permitting could prove problematic if local law enforcement were to interrupt deliveries to verify that the marijuana being transported was actually for medical purposes.

BASA operates its delivery service under the authority of a locally issued permit. That means that their delivery system has the same legal protections as their storefront dispensary. To receive this protection, the delivery service complies with the same rules as the storefront—for example, limiting distribution amounts, including proper labeling, and verifying membership information before delivery. 

When the new state laws covering medical marijuana take effect on January 1, 2016, delivery services must also be prepared to fully comply with the new laws. There must be written proof that the medical marijuana was ordered before it leaves the dispensary for delivery, and deliveries will be tracked and traced for security and law enforcement purposes. The new state laws do not require that deliveries only be conducted by members of the collective; in fact, the current legal requirement that dispensaries be operated as collectives or cooperatives is slated to be removed from the California Health and Safety Code a year after the first state permits are available.

While the direction the industry will take in reaction to new state laws is yet to be seen, the state has clearly signaled that the delivery of medical marijuana to patients is here to stay.  

Stay tuned for future articles on cannabis law and policy. Have questions? Ask BASA. Follow BASA on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.