Several California startups are heartbroken over the state’s recent ban on drones for marijuana delivery. The ban comes amongst many other new regulations released by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control on September 6th.
The report states it is illegal in California to deliver marijuana using autonomous vehicles – terrestrial, aerial or otherwise. Transport is explicitly restricted to commercial vehicles, forbidding the use of all “aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles”.
This also implies that you can forget about getting marijuana delivered to your door by a private jet, a self-driving car or a bike messenger—depending on how early you decided to invest in bitcoin.
The regulation is part of the marijuana industry preparation California is undergoing this year; selling recreational marijuana was voted legal and commercialization licenses will be issued from January 1, 2018 onwards. Companies such as PrestoDoctor are already providing full online assistance with licensed physicians, facilitating the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card.
The new regulations are a severe setback for startups such as medical marijuana delivery service Eaze, which dreamed of a California lit with the green lights of buzzing drones delivering their highly regarded goods.
The new report by the Bureau of Cannabis Control not only set forth rules for transportation, but also for pretty much every aspect of the booming marijuana business, from seed sourcing to end-user commercialization.
The controversial decision is based on security concerns over drug trafficking, but landed like a bomb on the marijuana industry in California, which is growing fast and experimenting with new business models in line with the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the Golden State.