Prop. 64 contains strong local control provisions that give cities and counties the authority to determine whether or not to permit cannabis in their communities. SB 1302 (Lara)
, however, proposes to force cities and counties to allow cannabis deliveries within their jurisdictions. Cities should oppose this bill that goes against the intent of voters who passed Prop. 64 by removing a local jurisdiction’s ability to ban cannabis deliveries.
Existing law authorizes cannabis licensees to travel with product on public roads, however, individual jurisdictions retain the authority to ban deliveries within their jurisdiction. SB 1302 would remove the ability for local jurisdictions to decide if cannabis deliveries should be allowed in their communities.
As California’s experiment with legalizing cannabis unfolds, many local governments have opted not to allow sales and distribution within their jurisdiction, but are observing the experience of other jurisdictions. In time, as the successful examples of local implementation emerge, more jurisdictions can be expected to alter their policies and permit the sales and use of cannabis.
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee heard SB 1302 on May 2. Several committee members expressed their reservations about the bill during the hearing. However, they then gave “courtesy” aye votes after the author, who serves as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, expressed a willingness to attempt to find common ground with the opponents.
As the cannabis industry grows in political influence in the Legislature, local governments should expect continued efforts to erode local authority.
SB 1302 now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Should it pass that committee it will face a two-thirds vote threshold on the Senate Floor.
Cities are encouraged to submit letters of opposition to SB 1302. The League has prepared a sample letter for cities. The sample letter and the League’s opposition letter are available on the League’s website at www.cacities.org/billsearch
by plugging SB 1302 into the search function.