Weed delivery services could be blooming soon in the South Bay since state officials lifted restrictions last month. Now all persons 21 and over can have marijuana delivered right to their doorstep anywhere in the Golden State.
Before the announcement, delivery services had been a patchwork network restricted to operating within certain jurisdictions. Now people in California’s prohibitionist cities like Milpitas, which banned pot clubs and personal outdoor growing last year, can order weed from home. “This means if a city has current ban, deliveries may legally take place,” Sean Kali-Rai, CEO of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Alliance, said in an email. “However, banned cities will not receive tax revenue.”
Whether Milpitas council members will revisit the issue at a later date is unknown, but they should consider it, given how San Jose racked up $10.5 million in 2017 and another $13 million in tax revenue last year, and expects higher numbers still in 2019.
Pot industry experts say the state’s decree will help fight a black market blamed for siphoning off tax revenue (legislators are addressing excessive taxation, which has also spurred illegal weed sales, with AB 286, which would suspend state pot taxes for three years). Meanwhile, critics say it eliminates local control from communities that don’t want any reefer madness.
Allowing delivery statewide should make life easier for medical marijuana patients. According to the Sacramento Bee, “residents in about 40 percent of the state have to drive 60 miles or more” to buy legal weed, even after voters approved recreational use. These tragic “pot deserts”—better known to some as the ninth circle of hell—are particularly problematic for those who rely on using cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Lucky local stoners will have a plethora of pot options in the near future.
The San Jose City Council approved manufacturing, distribution and testing labs in its borders last month and could explore letting current dispensaries open a second site in town later this year. City officials said those are potential items for the council’s priority list for the next fiscal year but added there are still “many, many competing priorities.”
The deadline to apply to open a brick and mortar store has come and gone in Mountain View, where 10 applicants signed up for four available permits. Santa Clara, Campbell and Morgan Hill are expected to follow; still, Mountain View’s selection of the final four would make it only the second local city to roll out the welcome mat for ganjapreneurs—that is, all goes according to plan.
At the last council meeting, newly elected Councilwoman Ellen Kamei suggested revisiting the city’s stance on pot, a proposal that garnered support from fellow Councilwoman Alison Hicks, Vice Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga and Mayor Lisa Matichak.
What that means for legal weed in Mountain View remains to be seen, but this much we know: there’s no stopping the inevitable cannabis courier boom now that the state deemed it legal despite local laws.