California bans Drones from Delivering Marijuana

While recreational marijuana is all set for legalization in California in January of 2018, the delivery methods are restricted in a number of ways. Regulations recently issued by the Bureau of Cannabis Control state that it would only be possible to deliver pot “in person by enclosed motor vehicle”. The wording of the regulation obviously goes further than banning drones from delivering marijuana, and self-driving cars are also off the table. But it was specifically aimed at the use of drones as a delivery vehicle for marijuana delivery, as has been the case in the US, Canada and England.

Killing Startups

This is not good news for innovative startups such as Eaze. Weed delivery startup Eaze demonstrated earlier this year that drones could be used for marijuana delivery. Spokesperson Sheena Shiravi even said that weed delivery by drone was really not that far away. There is a legitimate question as to why companies are not allowed to use any delivery method they choose. Why should it matter what method of delivery is used by a company to deliver a product to members of the public? There are no such restrictions on the delivery of food items or commercial products, though drone delivery is not widespread as the technology is not yet there. You can also get pharmaceutical prescriptions in the mail, so there does not seem to be any real incentive for this restriction on marijuana. The regulations read as follows:

“Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles… Deliveries may be made only in person by enclosed motor vehicle. Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries. Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery”

The restriction does not make any sense. It might have some foundation in a medical marijuana only state. But recreational marijuana is going to be legal in California in January of next year. Other startups, such as MDelivers and Trees Delivery will be likewise hampered by these regulations after already making claims about future drone delivery. It is almost as if the  legalization was enacted because bureaucrats got wind that startups were using their powers of innovation to make a desired product more easily available to their consumers, and quickly put a stop to it.

Rules for Californian Marijuana

With California set to become a hotspot for recreational marijuana, many thought the deal was done, and that finally the government and states were going to loosen their grasp on America’s most popular product. But these sentiments may have been somewhat premature. For anyone thinking they can just start their own marijuana business or create their own residential marijuana farm, cbd  THC . it might be a smart idea to read the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations in California. There are thousands of rules covering everything from seeds to branding.

On the plus side, many are already circumventing such laws and it is next to impossible for law enforcement officials to arrest everybody. One example is Humboldt county, where over 8000 people are estimated to be growing their own marijuana, with only 2000 marijuana applications in the region. And with regard to the enforcement of drone delivery, drones are not exactly going to be pulled over by the non-existent aerial police, though strict fines will apply for companies who go ahead and deliver by drone if they do get caught due to an audit. It could also be as simple as ringing the company for a delivery and observing whether it is by drone or not, though this is an incredible waste of police time and resources. And while the ban on drone delivery is getting the most focus, its light compared to the ban on every sort of transport except an automobile. Interpreted strictly this would mean no scooters and no convertibles with the top down. Then again there is a strong counter argument that things are moving too fast with marijuana legalization, and drone delivery marijuana might be pushing things a little far. Marijuana users seem a little eager and might needs to slow down and let legalization takes it course naturally.

Regulation Nation

It goes without saying that some regulation is required for the growth of marijuana. Quality has to be assured so that consumers are getting a high quality medical substance without toxins or chemicals. But there is really no sense to banning drone or other delivery methods except that states like to keep registers and tabs on its citizens. And even in relation to the quality and control of marijuana the regulators seem to have gone way overboard. The items list in the regulations for the impact on environment include 19 separate elements that growers have to keep up with, including:

  • Aesthetics
  • Mineral Resources
  • Agricultural and Forestry Resources
  • Noise
  • Air Quality
  • Population/Housing
  • Biological Resources
  • Public Services
  • Cultural Resources
  • Recreation
  • Geology/Soils
  • Transportation/Traffic
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Tribal Cultural Resources
  • Hazards and Hazardous Materials
  • Utilities/Service Systems
  • Hydrology/Water Quality
  • Mandatory Findings of Significance
  • Land Use/Planning


Strict and sometimes conflicting requirements come under each subheading. And this is simply the environmental section.


Geez, there seem to be a lot of people named Ann who write marijuana blogs. Well, that’s my name too, and when I asked my mom why she decided to give me such a mundane label she explained that the name Ann meant God has favored me. My name took on a whole new significance and I no longer thought it boring. And God has favored me – he gave me the gift of the gab and he smiled his approval when I decided to move to San Francisco. I love this city, I love the people, and most of all I love writing about marijuana.

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