Angels Camp is one of 25 local governments that are filing a lawsuit regarding cannabis deliveries.
The lawsuit was filed late Thursday night against the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), alleging that agency’s Regulation 5416(d) “is invalid because it eliminates the ability of cities and counties to regulate commercial cannabis deliveries within their communities,” according to a press release issued by Safe Implementation of Marijuana Policy for Local Government (SIMPL).
SIMPL is a coalition of local governments that works to ensure Proposition 64 – which legalized commercial cannabis activities in the state – is implemented in the way voters expected.
Part of the language of Regulation 5416(d) states that a cannabis delivery employee, “may deliver to any jurisdiction within the State of California.”
“Californians voted to allow recreational and commercial cannabis with the specific promise that each community would be able to regulate or even ban it within their community,” said Walter Allen III, councilmember for the City of Covina, in a press release. “The BCC’s actions in adopting this regulation burden local governments in jurisdictions that have regulated or banned commercial cannabis deliveries.”
At stake, authorities claim, is the issue of local control.
“Currently, what the state is coming out with puts cities at risk of losing control over their jurisdiction,” said Angels Camp Mayor Amanda Folendorf. “We don’t want other influences coming in and taking (control) away.”
Folendorf said that Angels Camp does allow deliveries, but those companies that deliver must be registered with city and state and meet all requirements under prop 64.
Along with Angels Camp, the other governments that are part of the coalition are the cities of Sonora, Arcadia, Atwater, Beverly Hills, Ceres, Clovis, Covina, Dixon, Downey, McFarland, Newman, Oakdale, Palmdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Riverside, San Pablo, Tehachapi, Temecula, Tracy, Turlock, Vacaville and Santa Cruz County.
Those local governments, the plaintiffs in the case, say that the BCC ignored the language in Prop 64 that guarantees the rights of local governments to regulate or prohibit commercial cannabis activities within their boundaries.
“The BCC is fundamentally changing Proposition 64, eroding local control and harming our local cannabis businesses by allowing commercial cannabis deliveries in every jurisdiction in California,” said Ryan Coonerty, chair of the Board of Supervisors of Santa Cruz County. “This betrays the promise made to the voters in Proposition 64.”
The lawsuit, plaintiffs said, is neither pro nor con on commercial cannabis.
“This lawsuit is not pro or anti cannabis,” said John Mirisch, the mayor of Beverly Hills. “We are left with no choice but to challenge these regulations because they violate key provisions of local control promised to voters when they passed Proposition 64.”
Mirisch went on to say that the regulations interfered with the enactment of local regulations that “may be necessary to protect the public safety and public health.”
Folendorf said that the regulation would keep Angels Camp from being able to enforce their own laws.
“We have no way to make sure (a cannabis delivery company is) within … state law or within our jurisdiction,” Folendorf said. “We don’t have authority over someone from outside.”