In the age of Postmates and AmazonFresh, it’s no surprise that cannabis users often opt to have their greenery delivered right to their door—but is it legal? Not currently in Los Angeles. This might come as a huge shock to you, especially when you login to Weedmaps & see the bevy of delivery services listed, but cannabis delivery in Los Angeles is illegal.
When Proposition D passed in 2013, it granted limited legal immunity to no more than 135 medical marijuana businesses. These businesses had operated in Los Angeles since September 2007, previously registered with the City & continued to meet other requirements & operational standards. Proposition D also made cannabis delivery services in Los Angeles illegal. As stated by the Canna Law Blog: “The illegality of delivery hinges on Proposition D’s characterization of an immune medical marijuana dispensary as tied to its “location.” A “location” is defined as “any parcel of land, whether vacant or occupied by a building, group of buildings, or accessory buildings, and includes the buildings, structures, yards, open spaces, lot width, and lot area.” LAMC § 22.214.171.124. This does not include vehicles, which would constitute a separate business and which cannot obtain immunity. Delivery services do not work under Proposition D. They just don’t.” Despite the best efforts of Proposition D & the City, cannabis delivery services have continued to operate in Los Angeles & most patients are completely unaware that every time they order from a delivery service they are participating in an illegal drug transaction.
Why should this matter to you? With 2018 just around the corner, law enforcement is cracking down on illegal deliveries in an attempt to shut down as many as possible. As evidenced by the last 4 years, shutting down an illegal delivery service isn’t easy—since they have no set address they can be raided, shut down & open up again somewhere else under a different name with relative ease. So now instead of trying to go after the delivery services exclusively, law enforcement is setting their sights on the people that use illegal delivery services to get their cannabis. Officers are creating fake delivery service profiles on Weedmaps & other platforms—when someone calls or texts them to place an order, they’re showing up at the person’s apartment with handcuffs instead of cannabis. Can you imagine sitting in your apartment already high, waiting for your order & the knock on the door is the cops? That’s not something ANYONE wants to have happen. In addition to already being in trouble for engaging in an illegal drug transaction, the cops now have probable cause to search your apartment & vehicle—anything they find that’s illegal is fair game & will likely result in additional charges against you.
If this is scaring you, we apologize—but it should. It’s relatively easy to find a legal dispensary in Los Angeles where you don’t have to worry about getting arrested. (If you’re not sure if the dispensary you go to is legal, check out our blog post How to Tell if a Dispensary is Illegal where we give you 5 ways to determine if you’re visiting an illegal shop.) Supporting legal dispensaries in Los Angeles is crucial to the success of the cannabis industry here & it’s important that consumers are armed with all the facts possible to make an informed decision about where they get their cannabis from. When you get your cannabis from an illegal delivery service you’re not only putting yourself at risk, you’re also hurting legal dispensaries that have worked hard to continually pay their taxes & remain compliant with all local & state laws.
The good news is that legal cannabis delivery services may be coming to Los Angeles soon—the Revised Draft Requirements for Commercial Cannabis Activity in the City of Los Angeles released on September 22nd, 2017 includes requirements for applying for a legal delivery license & operating a legal delivery service. The one stipulation to all of this is that the State of California has to allow for delivery & the details on that are still somewhat hazy at this point. In the meantime, if standing in line at a dispensary gives you anxiety (or you physically are unable to do so) look for legal dispensaries that offer online ordering for pick-up like The Higher Path! You can check out our menu & place an online order by visiting https://www.thehigherpath.com/menu.html-- all you need to sign up is a valid MMJ recommendation & California ID!
(1) Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About Los Angeles’ Proposition D on Cannabis
(2) Proposition D Full Text
(3) Revised Draft Requirements for Commercial Cannabis Activity in the City of Los Angeles
(4) It's Looking Like Pot Could Be Delivered Legally to Your Door