On November 17, a California court tossed a challenge to a statewide rule allowing delivery of cannabis to any jurisdiction in the state. The state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”) issued a regulation that “[a] delivery employee may deliver [cannabis] to any jurisdiction within the State of California.” 16 C.C.R. § 5416. Many local jurisdictions in California have regulated or limited the sale and delivery of marijuana within their borders. Fearing that the regulation would preempt their local ordinances, a group of these jurisdictions brought suit challenging the BCC’s rule.
The state court decision dismissed the challenge by state localities challenging the statewide rule, finding that the local jurisdictions were free to impose health and safety standards stricter than state laws. Therefore, the matter was not ripe for judicial review. Further, the court found that the BCC, rather than local officials, regulates licensees. Thus, according to the court, the local ordinances did not occupy the same field and were not in conflict with the BCC regulation, meaning that preemption was unwarranted.
An attorney for the local jurisdictions has stated that no decision has been made as to whether to appeal the dismissal.