The past week has brought about two interesting yet potentially disappointing developments for cannabis campaigners. One of which being somewhat more understandable than the other, admittedly.
In the first instance, we find ourselves over in Maine, where a central town has set its sights on putting a stop to cannabis sales in retail stores and social clubs. Despite recreational cannabis having been legalised statewide at the most recent vote, the town of Jefferson apparently has other plans for pot.
There will be a public hearing on September 25th to discuss an ordinance, which would effectively see stores across the town banned from selling recreational cannabis in any way, shape or form. Which goes against the law of the land governing the rest of the state, where possession, consumption, cultivation and even the sale of cannabis is legal – subject to the required licensing, of course.
Just as is the case across most states where cannabis has been legalised, individual municipalities have quite a lot of scope and flexibility as far as their own specific rules and regulations are concerned. Which means that along with imposing whatever licensing and regulatory restrictions they see fit, they can also slap an outright ban on cannabis sales, should they wish to do so.
A potential blow for residents of Jefferson who fully supported cannabis legalisation. But at the same time, a fair and appropriate opportunity to exercise democracy and go with the majority. Time will tell if the ban goes ahead - the early indications would seem to suggest it will.
Cali’s Cannabis Copters
Meanwhile, things don’t seem to be taking quite the same turn over in California. Since legalisation was voted in, California has become something of a bellwether state for the US in general – the region expected to lead perhaps not only the entire country, but much of the western world with its example. Nevertheless, authorities in California have made it abundantly clear this week that they have no intention of messing about, when it comes to some of the weird and wonderful ideas residents have for cannabis.
One of these ideas being making cannabis sales part of the autonomous sector. As it stands, ordering a pizza in California and having it delivered to you by way of aerial drone is not a new concept. Certainly an elaborate and novel concept, but something that has been played with for some time. Unfortunately, the likelihood of watching the recreational cannabis you’ve ordered literally fall from the sky into the palm of your hands probably isn’t going to happen in the near future.
In short, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control is forbidding the delivery of marijuana by an autonomous vehicle— those that fly and those that travel by road alike.
"Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles," the bureau confirmed on Wednesday.
Which means that while somewhere in the region of 11,500 retail licenses are expected to be issued during the first year of legalisation alone, the likelihood of cannabis taking to the skies over California anytime soon is minimal to say the least.
Which is a shame, given that it is a pretty cool concept on the whole.
Still, it’s not as if autonomous cannabis deliveries are likely to kick off in any regions that have legalised recreational marijuana for some time. For one thing, it is still against the law as far as Federal Aviation regulations are concerned to allow aerial drones further than the sight of the individual piloting them. Even if the day comes when this particular law is overhauled, there’s still the rather pressing issue of ironing out all necessary cannabis transportation regulations accordingly.
Long story short – don’t keep watching the skies…you could be in for a disappointment!