When drones are delivering weed to your doorstep you know the future is here — only thing is, California won’t allow it.
In the midst of preparing for California’s Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control recently released regulations that ban drones from transporting cannabis.
According to the program description, weed will have to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers, and cannot be transported via aircraft, watercraft, rail, human powered vehicles, unmanned vehicles, or drones.
In fact, only licensed retailers will be allowed to make deliveries with a person inside an “enclosed motor vehicle.” These vehicles must also be equipped with a GPS that allows the retailer to track the package of weed. Of course, it might go without saying, but the regulations also state that the delivery person cannot consume weed on the job.
The ban on drone delivery might be a disappointment for weed delivery companies like Eaze, which demonstrated the potential for drone delivery at the High Times Cannabis Cup this spring. “While our drone delivery demonstration at the High Times Cannabis Cup was a fun experiment, drone delivery isn’t something we had plans to prioritize,” says Sheena Shiravi, head of PR for Eaze. The company instead will focus on on-demand, car-based delivery in line with California’s regulations.
Nonetheless, while the state is taking a conservative approach to is nascent adult use cannabis market, which is set to officially launch in 2018, regulators may decide to expand the program and delivery options once they see the program operating smoothly.
While you can get pharmaceutical prescription medications via mail, weed is a different story. Federal Aviation rules also require that aerial drones remain within a pilot’s sight. And even if the government were to loosen those regulations, individual states may continue with their own form of regulations for drones, themselves, let alone drone delivery.