California Stoners Can't Get Weed Delivered by Drone

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As America’s most populous state, California is poised to set off a pot boom when recreational marijuana becomes legal there at the beginning of 2018. But even though the field at large is benefiting from automation, cannabis entrepreneurs in the Golden State won’t be able to automate delivery.

Last week, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control released emergency regulations on marijuana businesses. As Ars Technica pointed out, the rules state that cannabis can only be “transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers” and deliveries cannot be made “by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.”


The rules go further, preventing deliveries by anything that’s not a human:

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.


California will likely issue thousands of licenses within the first year and the state is projecting that legal pot will be a $5 billion boost to the state economy. Silicon Valley will surely make the most of this ripe new opportunity in its backyard. Startups like Eaze and MDelivers have already publicized their intentions to deliver cannabis in California.

While the rules are decidedly unchill, early regulations from the Bureau of Cannabis Control will help prove the state is being careful to avoid becoming a complete Wild Westworld of robots screwing up weed deliveries.


[Ars Technica, California Bureau of Cannabis Control]

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About the author

Jennings Brown

Former senior reporter at Gizmodo