A California judge threw out a legal challenge to a controversial policy enacted in 2018 by marijuana regulators that allows cannabis products to be delivered anywhere in the state, regardless of local bans on the industry.
In a ruling issued late Wednesday, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Rosemary McGuire sided with the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC).
The agency set the statewide delivery policy more than two years ago, and 25 local governments decided to sue, arguing that the policy violated their right of home rule when it came to regulating marijuana businesses inside their borders.
“The regulation states what the BCC, for its purposes, permits,” McGuire wrote in her ruling.
“It commands or prohibits nothing of the cities, and therefore is not necessarily in conflict with (state law) … pursuant to which plaintiffs contend they retain authority to regulate and/or ban cannabis delivery within their jurisdictions.
“The court finds that this matter is not ripe for adjudication, and dismisses the action as to all plaintiffs.”
The ruling, which follows a Monday hearing, is certain to bring a giant sigh of relief from California marijuana businesses.
If the policy had been overturned, the delivery consumer base would have been greatly reduced because most of the state’s cities and counties still maintain bans on cannabis commerce.
Legal observers have said they expect the case to be appealed, likely all the way to the state Supreme Court.
An attorney for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a Marijuana Business Daily request for comment Thursday morning, and the BCC declined to comment.
– John Schroyer