Uncharted Territory: Opening up Delivery Markets in California

MAUCRSA is silent on the limits of municipal police power that may be exercised by cities and counties in connection with their authority to “ban the establishment and operation” of licensed cannabis businesses under state law.  While MAUCRSA affirms that local governments may continue to exercise their traditional police powers to choose which land uses to allow and which to prohibit, this silence has been interpreted by many local jurisdictions to expand the scope of those powers—extending their land use authority past the front doors of private homes in residential zones to prohibit the delivery of lawful cannabis goods to their residents.  Certain local governments have acted on such interpretations by passing ordinances that not only (1) prevent cannabis delivery businesses from establishing a “licensed premises” within their borders, but also (2) prohibit any licensed cannabis delivery services from delivering to private residences in their jurisdictions.  This panel explores both sides of the debate on whether total local bans on delivery are good law and policy for the cannabis industry, the state and its residents, and various measures to address the issue.

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