California regulators ban pot delivery drones

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/09/11/california-regulators-ban-pot-delivery-drones/

(StT illustration)

Californians will be allowed to enjoy legal marijuana in 2018, but unfortunately it won’t be falling from the sky from a delivery drone.

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control recently announced an emergency set of regulations that includes banning autonomous vehicles from delivering legal products, reports Ars Technica.

“Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles,” according to the regulations announced on Wednesday.

The ban includes drones as well as self-driving cars that could soon be commercially regulated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Although current state law allows these vehicles for technological testing, a trained human is required to sit behind the wheel in case of a malfunction.

According to the proposed regulations, delivery transactions must be done in person:

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.

While drone delivery sounds a bit fantastic at the moment, the regulations would put a damper on future plans from delivery services such as Eaze, which envisioned the possibility several years ago.

The bureau’s “Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations” (PDF) is available online for prospective entrepreneurs looking to get familiar with the rules of selling legal cannabis products.

Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.

Oscar Pascual

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