California rules out drone delivery of cannabis

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on September 12, 2017.

Even as California is looking to legalize cannabis from next year, marijuana will not be allowed to be delivered using hi-tech facilities like drones. A rule book formulated by the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California has ruled out the option of delivery of marijuana using unmanned vehicles.

“Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers. Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles,” the report read adding that the vehicles needs overnight monitoring and can’t be left unattended.

The report also cites the details of transporting marijuana (both medicinal and recreational) which needs to be transported in locked boxes and completely secured. The companies have to comply with all the necessary license requirements and shipping manifests for each delivery. Setting the eligibility criteria for the drivers, the report states that the drivers need to above 21 years of age to drive vehicles carrying cannabis. In addition, the vehicles transporting pot needs to have GPS-enabled tracking system and shouldn’t be parked in any residential area. 

The decision is set to affect the plans of several pot start-ups to deliver medical pot using hi-tech technologies.  A number of start-ups including Eaze, MDelivers and Trees Delivery had been proposing to ship medical marijuana with the use of drones.

In April this year, MDelivers had announced the launch of nation’s first fully-licensed drone delivery service. The company had planned to deliver marijuana plants, edibles and other materials in 30 minutes across the state. However, the new legislation is set to be a major roadblock to its future plans. California is the first state to legalize medicinal pot in 1996.

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