The California Cannabis Delivery Crises: Will the Black Market Prevail?

California’s new cannabis regulations allow for the home delivery of cannabis in all 482 cities in the state. The state adopted these regulations to fight the black market in areas where municipalities have opted out of the cannabis marketplace. Twenty-four (24) of these cities filed a lawsuit against the state to stop these delivery services. They claim that California’s new delivery regulations violate Proposition 64 by removing their ability to prohibit cannabis activities. The cities also claim that the delivery service will introduce crime and unsafe conditions.

Without the state delivery rules, Californians must travel to purchase cannabis or buy from the black market. Our review of the 212 cities within Southern California shows that 187 of these cities do not permit retail cannabis activity. Only sixteen (16) cities permit non-storefront delivery, and twenty-one (21) cities allow cannabis stores to deliver to a person’s home. This data substantiates the existence of cannabis deserts. If the cities to the lawsuit prevail, California will need to develop creative tactics to combat the growth of the black market in these areas.