Californians expecting to get their marijuana delivered via drone should not hold their breath. A new set of regulations will make it harder for California businesses who try to deliver pot in unique ways.
The legalization of marijuana has raised a host of controversy. For one, the question of who has the right to distribute pot is already a complex issue. However, now there is the question of how these products get delivered.
Pot Drones? Should they be allowed?
California legislators are hoping to get these questions answered before issuing dispensary licenses next year. They came together this month to lay down the rules. Ultimately, it was decided that marijuana could NOT be delivered by drones.
The decision was part of the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations released by the state.
“Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles,” the regulations read, according to Ars Technica.
While deliveries will be allowed, they must adhere to the following guidelines:
“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.”
The news will be a major disappointment to the handful of businesses in California who already promised future pot deliveries by drone. One company, MDelivers, said the opportunity to deliver marijuana via drone was “unmistakable.”
Nevertheless, the company CEO did not count on lawmakers forbidding drone deliveries:
“After navigating the complexities of medical marijuana permitting, the state and FAA licensing process was actually pretty simple. Nobody can jump in at the 11th hour and rewrite the laws of aerodynamics,” Chris Boudreau, CEO and founder of MDelivers said in a blog post before the regulations were announced.
With the new policies in place, there is no telling how entrepreneurs will get marijuana to their customers. Even if drones are off the table, there are a variety of other new, interesting methods being considered.
“We may see a vending machine attached to a self-driving car before we see a drone,” Marshall Hayner, CEO of Trees Delivery, told Mashable.
As California prepares to expand its cannabis market, there continues to be challenges among those against marijuana legalization, especially when it comes to the products crossing state lines illegally. This has already been a major concern for states where port had been legal for recreational use such as Colorado and Oregon.
Surrounding states are trying to address the marijuana diversion issue by requiring pot businesses to track their product from “seed to store.” Time will tell how these sorts of issues will be regulated.
Furthermore, there remains to be conflicting ideologies on whether or not marijuana use is beneficials. While there has been proven benefits of marijuana use, there are also negative effects of marijuana use. Like any drug, marijuana has the potential to be abused.
As more and more states legalize marijuana, logistical challenges remain such as how the products can be delivered. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, where it’s still classified as a controlled substance. This results in a variety of challenges in states like Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal.
The federal government requires that Colorado and any state that legalizes marijuana work together to prevent:
- Distribution of marijuana to minors.
- Transporting marijuana from states where it’s legal to other states.
- Growing marijuana on public lands.
- Marijuana possession or use on federal property.
- Other criminal activity or violence associated with the sale of marijuana.
It is important to remember that like any drug, marijuana has the potential to be abused. Do not feel shame for feeling out of control of your marijuana use. Stigma should not prevent you from seeking treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out today. Do not wait. Call toll-free now.
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One of my good friends traveled to Tallahassee last week to attend the Supreme Court Hearing on a proposed medical marijuana amendment. I sat down with him to talk about his trip, Charlotte’s Web, and why this cause is so important to him.
There’s a new drug called Charlotte’s Web, which is made from a specific strain of marijuana – local to Colorado that is exceptionally low in THC (the psychoactive chemical that causes a ‘high’) and exceptionally high in a chemical called cannabidiol that, itself has no intoxicating effects, but seems to regulate overactive brain signals.
This is an important finding because there are many children suffering from devastating and frequent seizures that established medications are unable to effectively treat.
The cannabidiol oil that’s in Charlotte’s Web has not yet been tested by the Food and Drug Administration and there are no scientific studies of its effectiveness or its risks in children. It is considered an illegal drug with no medicinal potential by the federal government.
However, studies on animals and small groups of humans have shown the substance reduces seizures, but legal and cultural barriers have kept most epilepsy doctors from viewing it as a legitimate treatment, even in the 20 states where medical marijuana is legal.
Charlotte’s Web is named for a little girl whose mother, Paige Figi sought out the oil from a family of brothers who were growing medical marijuana for local dispensaries in Colorado. The Stanley brothers are currently the only ones who can supply this life saving drug for desperate families because of federal laws that strictly prohibit its distribution through the mail.
Charlotte has a severe form of epilepsy, called Dravet Syndrome. Two years ago Figi started giving the then-5-year-old a daily dose of oil made from a special marijuana strain produced in Colorado. Before the oil Charlotte had hundreds of seizures per week. Nowadays, Charlotte has on average less than one per week. Once nearly catatonic, today she does all the things girls her age do.
News of Charlotte’s improvement turned Figi into an unwitting poster mom for medical marijuana.
During the last few months, she has watched two children in other states with the same seizure disorder as her daughter die without ever being able to try the oil.
After a special report on Charlotte aired on CNN in August, the Stanleys began getting about 4,000 calls per month. Almost a hundred families have moved to Colorado since then to get the oil. Another 171 are on a waiting list and could move in the next several months. The migration has driven the number of registered pediatric medical marijuana users in the state from four in 2012 to 81 as of October. Another 171 are on a waiting list for the oil.
A good friend of mine has a young child who has been diagnosed with epilepsy. The first indication of a problem wasn’t until the baby was about 2 months old. At this time, he was diagnosed with Sandifer’s Syndrome – acid reflux that is accompanied with a specific movement disorder. Because of this, babies with Sandifer’s are often misdiagnosed as having epileptic seizures but the syndrome has no neurological issues, unlike an actual seizure disorder. In the case of my friend’s son, this was actually the opposite – he was in fact suffering from epileptic seizures but was misdiagnosed with the less-serious Sandifer’s syndrome.
At first, the seizures occurred about 3 times a day but then became as often as every 10 minutes. It was at that time that his son was officially diagnosed with epilepsy.
At about 6 months, the baby underwent surgical procedures to give him both a feeding tube and a tracheostomy (a breathing tube placed in the front of his neck) due to complications from the seizures. He was also placed under a medically-induced coma for 3 months to monitor his brain waves and to see if the disorder would resolve itself.
Currently, on 12 meds – 5 of which are specifically for the seizures – the rest manage the side effects from the potent seizure meds – and requires around-the-clock nursing.
He says, “Medical marijuana gives us hope. We want it to be an option, for ourselves and others families like us. Nothing is guaranteed, not even the meds he’s on now.”
He goes on to say that the medications are basically stabilizing his son but they don’t improve his quality of life. Between the developmental delays from the seizures and the severe side effects from the medications, at 16 months, his son is only able to raise his head. Where he once displayed his budding personality, he is now too sleepy from all of the heavy medications.
Hearing for Medical Marijuana in Tallahassee
Florida Supreme Court justices held a one-hour, sometimes testy hearing Thursday on a proposed medical marijuana amendment to determine the constitutionality of ballot language.
Patients who are “prescribed” medical marijuana would have an identification card and be tracked by the health department.
In the past few months Figi along with the Stanley brothers have flown to Vermont, California, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Florida and Washington D.C. to tell Charlotte’s story.
Their goal is to get Charlotte’s Web to as many families as possible, while also establishing a sustainable business that can provide those in need with a safe and reliable product. Together they are setting up partnerships to produce the oil in states where it is legal, and pushing to change laws in states where it is not.
Twenty states and the District of Columbia now allow medical marijuana.
Opposing medical marijuana may eventually hurt politicians because a recent poll shows that 82 percent of Florida voters support it.